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Lifting, Rambling & Grilling: Eggplant & Tofu Napoleon

Rambling & Lifting 
Since I ran the past 2 days, I figured it'd be smart to hit the gym today and not test the running gods. Though, my heel and piriformis feel surprisingly good today. Of course, had I run, that might have changed.

In fact, my legs don't feel at all like I ran 10 miles yesterday. That got me to thinking about when I first started adding up the miles. My recovery was so much harder. Even after 7 or 8 miles I remember feeling pukey, my legs shaky and exhausted, muscles already getting sore.

I figured out my fueling so that took care of the pukey feeling. I also figured out how to better stretch and roll out my muscles post-run, so that now, I can still move the rest of the day and the day after. It's a great feeling honestly - to know that my body is so capable now. That I'm comfortable in the miles (well, for the most part). I think I coming back from injuries makes the miles somehow more special too. If that makes sense.

I know some people question why I am doing long runs right now. I mean, I'm not training for a race. My next half won't be until October. So why continue the long runs?

Actually, I enjoy the time running. I also want to keep a high base mileage. I think it will help me prepare for any upcoming half so much easier since I already "know" those miles. My body knows them. My body is prepared for them. And I'm also mentally prepared as well. There's definitely a huge mental factor in knowing you can do the miles and not second guessing yourself or your body.

Last year, right after my first half, I let my miles drop significantly. My longest runs might be 6 miles tops. And when it came time to train for the next half, it took me a bit to get my body used to the miles again. I wasn't starting from scratch necessarily, I was able to increase fairly quickly. But it was definitely a challenge getting back into that long-run mindset.

For the runners out there - do you like to keep up a long run consistently? Or do you drop back on the mileage until you're training again?

Anyway, back to today ... I started on the elliptical to warm up (and read a magazine) before moving on to biceps and triceps.

I kept it super simple and basic today. I just needed to get in, get it done, and get going. So, 3 supersets; 8 reps per set; 3 times.

SS#1
Alternating biceps curls
Triceps pushdowns

SS#2
Hammer curls
Double-arm overhead triceps extensions

SS#3
Cross-body curls
Double-arm triceps kickbacks

I felt a little weaker with biceps curls today, but stronger with triceps. It's definitely time to increase the weight again for the triceps pushdowns.

Next week I'll have a break from lifting as I'll be on vacation. The condo has a gym, but only has cardio equipment. But, it's been a really long time since I've taken a lifting break. Definitely overdue.

Grilling Eggplant 
Something else overdue - eggplant. I haven't bought an eggplant in ages. I actually prefer the Japanese eggplant, but am not seeing them at the market just yet. But I suddenly decided I "needed" eggplant this week.

So, Jason picked one up yesterday, and I decided to use it today. Originally I was planning a grilled veggie salad. But I decided to go ahead and do something more exciting and use the eggplant.

The weather was beautiful, so that meant the grill was calling my name. Who am I to ignore the grill? I decided to go with Grilled Eggplant and Tofu Sandwiches. I also opted to go more Italian-style with the sandwich. I'll say it ended up being a Grilled Eggplant and Tofu Napoleon though.

I dry-seared the tofu to remove the moisture. I then made a marinade using white wine, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, parsley, basil, oregano, salt, and nutritional yeast flakes.

After I pulled the tofu out, I added in a drizzle of olive oil then let the eggplant marinate while the tofu was grilling. Originally I was just going to do salt and pepper on the eggplant, but figured it'd soak up the marinade and be extra flavorful.

I had a homemade marinara on hand so the plan was to spread that on bread and then layer on the tofu, eggplant and Daiya Mozzarella Cheese. I was going to toast it to melt up the Daiya.

However, all I had were sandwich thins. Jason sort of laughed and said everything else was larger/thicker than the bread. He suggested maybe layering as there'd be no way to eat as a sandwich really - hello mess.
 

So, I went with the layered suggestion. Hence the Grilled Eggplant and Tofu Napoleon with a side of grilled sweet potato fries (I mean, I thought I was making a sandwich after all).

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Sunshine
Grilling
Good workout

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If you're a regular blog reader, I'm sure you've seen similar posts, scenarios if you will, about what we might chat about or what I might say if we sat down and had coffee together.

I think these can be fun. Maybe fun isn't the right word choice exactly. But maybe it is? They're transparent, showing who the blogger really is ... if they're being honest of course. It's not often you truly get to sit down with the person behind the blog.


If we were to have coffee together ...

I would first let you know that I'm not a super fan of coffee. I drink mine with hot cocoa and it's mostly out of habit rather than the need for caffeine. I could forgo it on the weekends entirely.

Since we're talking coffee, I would also let you know that I've never ordered coffee from Starbucks and only once from a true coffee shop. I've only been into 2 Starbucks shops - the original in Seattle and one in town where I ordered a bottle of tea when meeting a friend. …