Saturday, February 25, 2012

Polenta Pizza on Saturday Night

I have been crazing polenta for quite some time now and then I thought I would try my hand at making a polenta pizza!

Last night I finally made one and it turned out delicious!

Below is a picture. My topping include sockaroni pasta sauce, baby bella mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, tofu "ricotta" (which tastes like ricotta) and Daiya mozz cheeze. This was a great vegan and gluten free pizza for me and the family!

The week to come is not going to as hectic as this past week so I am looking forward to getting in some quality workouts. I have not swam in three weeks so I may try to do that twice this week. I took Rocket in the jogger for a 3 mile run. Running today felt quite effortless so I am glad I have been incorporating all the tempo runs and incline/stadium runs. My hard training is definitely paying off!

I may post some progress pictures soon. My biceps will be popping in a month or so :-)

Friday, February 24, 2012

It feels like it has been awhile! Updates and new goals.

These past two weeks have been a whirl wind of test, papers, ear aches, respiratory infections, and what I thought was pink eye, but thankfully was not! The first two apply to me and the last three apply to Rocket. My poor little guy has been to the pediatrician more in the past couple of months then his first year. Fortunately for Lee and I and Rocket, he is getting better; no more wheezing and terrible congested coughing. I take Rocket to the pediatrician again on Monday for a follow up. Hoping the pediatrician will take him off the nebulizer.

Because my mommy duties have been double time this past month, consistency in my muscle building workout plan fell by the wayside. I have still workout but I have averaged about 35 minutes in the gym opposed to the hour I was completing in the first and second week. This week I ran more then the week before (which was none): mostly concentrating on speed and hill training for shorter distances (1.5 miles twice, 5k once, and 1 mile once). Quality and intensity of my shorter workouts have been quite high as each day after I workout the body parts worked experienced DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). The last two days of the weekday I also began taking two supplements: 200mg of CoQ10 and one scoop of plant protein powder with greens made my Lifetime Life's Best. The Coenzyme Q10 is supposed to help with muscle recovery by increasing blood supply to my heart and muscles. The (vegan and soy free) plant protein powder which has glutamic acid, algae, spirulina, and chlorophyll (and many many more wonderful ingredients) will ideally help me build muscle and recover more efficiently from my strenuous workouts. I hope to see and feel improvements in my body as this month ends and the next one begins.

In March, April, and May I am looking forward to competing in a 5k and 10k race. I am up to run/walking 5 miles so by the end of March I will be up to running 6 miles.

I will leave you with a picture of my first vegan meal at the UNC at Pembroke dinning hall that recently started serving vegan dishes, and picture of Rocket who is always my inspiration to be a fit veggie mama!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Yummy Recipe and Today's Packed Cooler

I do a fair amount of baking and cooking each weekend. Sometimes I can make up to four dishes (soups, casseroles, salads, oatmeal, and green smoothies). Last night was that kind of night: pre- and post-workout meals were made, lunch were made, and my on-the-car-ride-back-home snack was also made.

What I love about preparing and packing my meals on Sunday is that in the next couple of days all I have to do make dinner when i get home at 5pm on any given night. Also by packing my meals the night before all i have to do in the morning is put everything in my giant cooler, dress my son and I, and put everything in the car. The one extra step of packing my meals the night before is often the difference of leaving 15-35 minutes later than 8am. Today I left at 8:02am- GO me :-)

In my packed cooler:
~Green Smoothie- watercress, kale, pear, banana, celery, apple, lemon
*made this in a big batch for today and tomorrow*
~4-seed oatmeal- with blueberries *I used sesame, hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds*
~Asian broccoli and bok choy salad with ginger and soy dressing, and goji berries
~Mixed beans and grains bento "box"-
Black and red beans, chickpeas, rice and quinoa, hijiki seaweed, soy sauce, ginger, carrots, red pepper
~Almond milk and chocolate hemp protein shake

Mmm :-) plant strong meals with a Japanese-inspired lunch.

Now to the recipe.
adapted from Coconut Almond Granola Awesomeness

Coconut Almond Oat Bars
makes 15 mini squares

1/2 cup of grounded almonds or almond flour
1/2 cup of oatmeal old-fashion
1/8 cup of oat bran
1/16 tsp of sea salt
1 cup of fresh coconut- minced in food processor
Scant 1/2 cup of water blended with two pitted medjool dates
2 tbsp of maple syrup or honey or agave syrup

1. preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. line a 8X3 pan with parchment (any square or rectangle pan with do) and put a fine coating of coconut oil on the parchment paper.
3. combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a spatula
4. combine wet ingredients and coconut in with dry.
5. mixed well and spread evenly onto lined pan.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or longer if toy like your granola bar crunchy.
7. Enjoy once cooled!

It is Monday and I am back to weekday routine. Leg workout and swim today- thank goodness I am properly fueling my body with the proper food!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Second Week of Muscle Building

This has not been the week for exercising. Although I did workout out 3 times this week, the only day that I partially stuck to my plan was Wednesday and that was only the spin part.

On Sunday night I food poisoned myself- not washing my hands after going to the grocery store and eating Oreos in the car ride hold was probably the culprit. In addition to Sunday and Mondays break from running, pool, and gym: today's long run was cancelled due to the fact that both my son and I have chest colds, his being more hardcore because he is only 13 months old. I have not run outside which has been a little tough on me as I love running, but honestly I just don't want to be sick anymore. Today I feel much better than I did yesterday but since Rocket is worse and could not go to daycare, I am home with him and will not take him out for a run.

Not giving up on my 4 week plan because I still DID get two strength training circuits in on Tuesday and Thursday so I did not retard my weeks prior accomplishment in the gym.

That pretty much sums up my week. I have a recipe to share so hopefully I can finish the instructions and post that this weekend.

One final success: I am 141lbs. I am pretty happy about this number because when I joined the National Guard my big almost NoGo was that I was 14lbs overweight. At the end of training I weighed 147lbs from 156lbs at the start of basic training. So the success is that I have changed my diet completely to a vegan, plant-strong diet and when coupled with a sound exercise plan I am losing weight without restricting my caloric intake. Now that is IMPRESSIVE!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

First Week of Muscle Building Workout... COMPLETED

This is a workout program I can stick to for the next 3 weeks! I had my doubts at first because I have ALWAYS been more of a circuit-type workout person, but I have to say that this program even with all it's rest-in-between sets definitely giving me the workout I wanted.

To add to the above using the plan makes my evening less congested with "things I need to plan for the next day" which is sometimes an extensive list. The Sunday through Friday workout, working most body parts just once (excluding abs which are twice) also allows me to fully recover before working that body part again.

My only snags that I encountered were that I probably used weights a little heavier then I should have since my legs have FINALLY gotten back to a non-sore state. And today for my shoulders, back, biceps, abs because I only had 40 minutes to workout I had to cut some of the exercises in the workout plan. Next week I should not have those time restraints.

Tomorrow is my 5 mile run day- Wish me luck!!