Sunday, November 29, 2009

Learn to Look for the Positives

I have been debating on what I wanted to talk about next. But a few things happened over this Thanksgiving Holiday that have made me seriously take pause and reflect a bit. Of course Thanksgiving is meant to be a day of thanks. It is meant to be a day to enjoy family and friends. I probably did not take enough time to truly enjoy the day as I should have. Especially in light of some sad news I received two days in a row.

Friday morning I sat down to check email, and the first one I read struck me hard. A very dear friend's husband has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. They have only been married a year. He is only 34 years young.

Then on Saturday we went to have dinner with my former dance teacher and his wife, dear friends. We were told that he has prostate cancer and will be having surgery in December. 

Needless to say, I most certainly stopped to think about everything that I am so blessed to have. My husband and I recently celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. I am thankful for those 9 years, even if they have not always been perfect. Nothing ever is. If it was, life would probably be pretty boring. I am also thankful that his recent annual tests all came back clear this week.

I am very lucky to have a close knit family. My sister truly is my best friend. I am lucky to be able to talk with them every day, sometimes many times a day. I am also lucky to have my health and am strong and capable. I may have aches and pains and migraine headaches, but that is nothing compared to what others are going through. So when I started to skip out on my workout this morning (legs), I thought about those who don't have the luxury of even being able to workout or knowing that they don't have many more workouts that they can even skip out on. So I pushed on.

I hope that others who might read this will take the time to reflect on all the positives in their lives. Yes, we all have problems and experience snags and snafus in life. The key is to not dwell on those pitfalls, but to remember and be thankful for all the other positives. When you think you can't do something, remember all of those who truly can't, then get up and just do it. You just may surprise yourself!

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Thanksgiving

Well, I made it through another Thanksgiving madness. I know the main focus of the holiday is supposed to be giving thanks. However, it seems to have become a holiday focused on devouring a bird and eating tons of casseroles and other unhealthy foods that you would normally never eat at any other time of the year. Somehow the holiday has gotten off track and everyone is so focused on "their" holiday traditions, "their" holiday meals. People think they HAVE to have this casserole or that casserole or the holiday is a bust. What happened to just getting together with family and friends and enjoying the fact that you are together?

As a vegetarian, Thanksgiving has become one of my least favorite holidays simply because the focus is on the consumption of a bird and all sides, for whatever reason, seem to require the addition of either meat, butter, or some other unhealthy component somehow justified because it's a holiday. Of course, I am being ever so slightly hypocritical because I do allow myself to indulge in desserts that I normally would never bake or eat, no matter how much I would love to.

Because I enjoy baking, I volunteered to make wheat rolls for my family's meal as well as desserts for my family and the in-laws. I made Pumpkin Cheesecakes and Pumpkin Angel Food Cupcakes with Molasses Cream Cheese Icing. While neither treat was exactly "healthy" I did try to make them lower fat at the very least. It did make me feel just a bit better about indulging in a large slice of the creamy, slightly spicy cheesecake and the sampling of the gooey cupcake.  

Last year my husband and I actually opted out of Thanksgiving Day. Instead, we spent Thanksgiving in a small fishing cabin together with our two Cocker Spaniels. It was a relaxing and enjoyable day. We made what we wanted to make, when we wanted to make it. Both of us really enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes. Since our families typically want their "traditional" menus, we decided to have a pre-Thanksgiving meal of our own. So, we made a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner the night before so that I would be able to enjoy at least one meal in it's entirety. I told my husband what I wanted and he executed the plan. Sometimes he spoils me!

Our pre-Thanksgiving dinner menu was:
  • Quorn Turk'y Roast with mustard sauce
  • Roasted brussels sprouts and butternut squash
  • Smashed new potatoes with herbed cream cheese
  • Homemade wheat roll


So, I know I sound like a Thanksgiving Scrooge, but I think it's because the holiday has lost it's purpose. It's not really about the food, traditional or not. It's about being with those you love and enjoying that fact that you can be together.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Missing the Beach Part II

After writing about Perdido Key, FL in “Missing the Beach,” I started to think that perhaps I made it sound like there was absolutely nothing to do other than sit on a condo balcony or sit on the beach and read. I really did not do the town justice. Those are just the two things that I find most relaxing and look forward to doing all year long. No stress. No worries.

For me, no stress and no worries also involves maintaining some sense of routine and normalcy. I get extremely stressed and irritable when my routine falls apart. So, yes, I exercise. Yes, I try to cook healthier meals. However, when I am on vacation, I find that I actually enjoy those things so much more. I'm on no one else’s time schedule. I'm much more relaxed and focused on enjoying every moment.

Maintaining a routine

While it is vacation, I do try to maintain a sense of normalcy with my routine, to include diet and exercise. I think that is important. I always feel better when I'm able to continue to get in runs or even some ab work while on vacation. Eating familiar meals is always nice as well. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy going out to eat, but I don’t want to eat out every meal.

I typically alternate between the treadmill and elipitcal machine for about 45 minutes while watching the Food Network. I also pack my resistance bands and an ab DVD or two. I try to watch my food intake as well. I mean, I am in a bikini. The beach is not the place to decide to go willy nilly with eating!

Enjoying the views
Yes, my husband and I typically spend the majority of the time on the beach under an umbrella. We take a cooler with snacks, water, and even beer. We’re on vacation right?! We also relax on our balcony, simply taking in the views. Forget the television. We turn on some music and simply sit. Such a change of pace from day-to-day living.

Vacation activities
While enjoying the views is relaxing and all, we aren’t hermits. We do enjoy getting out and taking a drive, visiting a few restaurants, and shopping or browsing a few tourist hot spots. Here are some of our favorite places to visit in or around Perdido Key, FL.

  • Jelly Fish Bar - A fun, quirky little place within walking distance from the condo we typically stay at. You can enjoy creatively concocted cocktails and sushi. 
  • The Wharf – The Wharf is a definite must for those who enjoy eclectic gift shops. This newish complex is still filling up, but don’t let the empty store fronts fool you. There are still many shops to peruse, a movie theater, and restaurants. One of our favorite restaurants at The Wharf is Ginny Lane Bar and Grill. During our last visit, I enjoyed their Portobella and Artichoke Salad. It was huge, delicious, and worth every cent.
  • Tanger Outlet Mall in Foley, AL - For the outlet mall enthusiasts, this one is one of the best. It’s definitely worth the drive to Foley, AL. Even my husband finds his inner shopper here.
  • Flora-bama – Ok, this is not a place that we actually frequent. However, it’s a place to visit, at least once. It looks like a ramshackle lean to; it’s a dive plain and simple. In fact, they tout themselves as “The last great American road house.” No matter, it’s a dive on the beach and a great place to people watch.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Missing the Beach


Fall is slowly giving way to winter. The cooler weather makes me reminisce about warm summer days and beach vacations. Not much beats the feeling of warm, soft sand between the toes and the rhythmic sound of the waves crashing softly. For me, the ideal vacation involves renting a condo on a white, sandy beach and spending my days under an umbrella, reading book after book.

My husband and I have found one spot that we both love to visit, Perdido Key, FL. It's about 20 minutes from the hustle and bustle, family attraction of Gulf Shores, AL. It's quiet, with no "main" strip of bumper to bumper traffic. There are only a few restaurants to choose from, and the condos are all on the beach and not towering.

We typically try to go over Memorial Day weekend. It's still very calm and quiet. The weather is pleasant with no threats of hurricanes. Renting a condo is ideal; it allows us to cook in almost every meal. This saves money and is also healthier. We also choose a condo with some sort of gym. Even though we are on vacation, we do try to stay healthy and active (for the most part).

The first day is usually our first "eat out day." We'll hit the grocery store (and liquor store), then indulge in pizza (typically). Then, it's all about relaxing on the balcony, listening to the waves. In general, we make no set plans. It's vacation; it's about relaxing and not worrying about time, timelines, timeframes. The only agenda we have is to relax.

We typically get in a run in the mornings, allowing ourselves to sleep in if we choose. Breakfast is overlooking the ocean from our balcony. Then we head directly to the beach with books in tow. Lunch is back at the condo, on the balcony of course. Dinner is usually had on the balcony, again. We plan for 2-3 meals out, all others in. One day, usually on a rain day, will be shopping at the outlet mall in Foley, AL. I am a sucker for an Ann Taylor Outlet store.

While most people use vacations as an excuse to eat out and put exercise on hold, we do try to hold true to our typical routines. We both enjoy cooking, and nothing beats cooking your favorite meals and enjoying them with a bottle of wine overlooking the peaceful ocean.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Birthday Blog

Well, I had meant to start a blog about our beach trip to Perdido Key, FL this past May. However, it's my birthday so I thought I'd blog about that instead - that and I've not really thought out the Beach blog or pulled out the pictures I want to post. 

So, I actually managed to stay in bed until 9:20 this morning. That's a rarity. I was still fairly productive today despite sleeping in and it being my birthday. My husband and I cleared out a spare room to convert into my new weight room. So I had to test it out of course. Today was shoulders, chest, and biceps. I then did 30 minutes of step aerobics. There were the typical Saturday errands to run. I dusted the downstairs. Right now I am making myself some birthday cupcakes - spice cake with cream cheese icing. They are smelling divine.

While I'm struggling with the whole idea of getting older, I do recognize that I should be very thankful. Not only did I live one more day, I made it through one more year. I am healthy and blessed with a husband who loves me and a fantastic family. 


So, I will enjoy this day - and my cupcakes. Cheers!



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing – Is it Possible to Over Exercise?


I will be the first to admit that I have a difficult time allowing myself a rest day from exercise. I have an all or nothing attitude with a propensity to over train. After a workout, I usually have a boost of energy and feel better. So, even on days when I am tired, cranky, or even sore, I push through so I can get that energy boost. The big “theys” of authority keep urging everyone to exercise more. Get off our duffs and be active. But for those of us who are already active (and overachievers at that), there is a potential to over do it. Can you really get too much exercise? Surprisingly, yes.

Over exercising can lead to Overtraining Syndrome. Athletes, triathletes, runners, weight lifters are all susceptible to overtraining. Even people new to exercising can get overly enthusiastic and over train, thus burning themselves out entirely. Exercising usually makes us feel good for various reasons, so why not do more and feel even better? Why not add on extra reps, extra miles and boost your results?

While exercising is good for us, when we don’t allow our bodies to properly recover, overlook proper nutrition, or get inadequate sleep, we end up doing ourselves an injustice. We are undoing all of our hard work basically.

As a personal example, when I first started lifting weights I fully believed that in order to see results, I had to work the muscle group three times a week. So I would do three full-body workouts in addition to my cardio. I didn’t count weight lifting in as part of my exercise regimen. I did have muscle tone. Who wouldn’t after lifting that much? But I was burnt out, tired, and dreaded workouts.

After completely Cathe Friedrich’s STS Program, I realized how wrong I had been about what I needed to do to see results. (The program only works muscle groups once per week.) I learned that more is not always better. It is a matter of how you work the muscle (e.g., muscle endurance, hypertrophy, number of reps and patterns, varying weights, etc.), not always how much. The same goes for running, swimming, biking, even floor and step aerobics. It’s good to vary your workouts and intensity levels. First off, you’re less likely to get bored. Secondly, you’re less likely to over train. It’s also important to take a rest day, and even periodically take an active recovery week where you do very light cardio such as walking or easy, slow runs. I’ll admit, it’s easier said than done. I know that for some that sounds absolutely crazy. Can’t take a day off? Seriously? Yep, very serious.

So, are you like me and have a hard time allowing yourself a rest day? Do you tend to go all out, all the time? You may be on the brink of, or even be suffering from Overtraining Syndrome. I know I have didn’t realize it at the time. I even snickered the first time I saw an article about Overtraining Syndrome. So how do you know if you’re suffering from Overtraining Syndrome?

Common symptoms:
  • Mild leg soreness, general achiness
  • Pain in muscles & joints
  • Possible increase in injuries
  • Moodiness and/or depression
  • Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
  • Sudden drop in or diminished performance
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Inability to relax, twitchy, fidgety
  • Insatiable thirst, dehydration
  • Lowered resistance to common illnesses such as colds and sore throats
  • Increased resting heart rate

The best treatment is prevention. So how can you prevent Overtraining Syndrome?
  • Take at least one rest day per week
  • Cross train
  • Periodize your workouts (e.g., alternate hard and light training days within the normal training program)
  • Keep a training diary. This can help you monitor training intensity and volume as well as mood, fatigue, etc.
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Maintain proper diet and nutrition

Disclaimer: I am not a professional, I am not a physician. This information is meant to be informative and was gathered from various sources. If you feel that you are suffering from Overtraining Syndrome, please talk to a professional.

Sources:



Monday, November 16, 2009

All Geared Up

I remember running fast and free as a child – often down a hill or across my grandparent’s expansive back yard. Imagine arms open wide, hair trailing, mouth wide open in a giggle. Running used to be something that I just did with abandon. There was no thought.

Now, however, running (exercising in general) is more like a production. I have to first get myself psyched up for the “task” at hand. Then there is the appropriate attire, especially when it comes to the right shoes. I also wear my heart rate monitor and that contraption includes a chest strap and watch. I have problems with my knee, so I have to remember to strap on my patellar knee brace. My husband refers to all of those things as my hardware. It gets worse though. If I'm running alone or at the gym, I also strap on my iPod armband and snake the cord through my top so it doesn’t flail around and tangle on my arm.

I pretty much have the same set up for step or floor aerobics, minus iPod; I even have separate shoes. When it comes to lifting weights, I have even more gear. I have my lifting gloves, weighted gloves for micro loading, and even a weighted vest when I need to go heavier for leg work. I am definitely helping to keep the makers of Velcro in business. One of my forum friends said that it makes her feel like a warrior when she straps on all of her gear for weight lifting. It really does almost feel like you’re getting ready for battle.

No wonder there are days when I don’t want to exercise – no matter if it’s a run or lifting – it takes 15 minutes or more just to get ready. What happened to just getting out there and running like a child or dancing to the music without a care? I think I can understand why so many people opt out of exercising all together.

Of course, the results outweigh the inconveniences in the long run, so I will continue to strap on and gear up and try to imagine myself as a strong, capable warrior!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Don’t Run With Tweezers & Other Running Lessons

So my “Wheaties” day was on a Saturday. Sunday morning I was still flying high thinking about how strong I was and how far I could run without feeling the least bit tired. Yes, I am a real athlete I thought. My weight workout was chest and back. Knowing how hard I was able to push myself the previous day, I did so again. After the workout, I refueled with with some fat-free cottage cheese and blueberries. It was another beautiful and unseasonably warm day, so my husband and I decided to take advantage and go for another run. We drove to another part of the river trails for a leisurely run.

I was clad with all my gear (another blog post I do believe):  heart rate monitor, patellar knee band, matching top and bottoms (very important), and my hat to keep the sweat out of my eyes (actually more important than the outfit). We started at a slow pace, but I was winded almost immediately, and there was not an inkling of a hill to blame it on. My legs felt like lead weights, and I could feel my form falling apart. Looking at my watch, we’d only been running less than 10 minutes. So much for my Wheaties power from the day before. I trudged on though and made it for 3.75 miles.

When we got home, I started removing all of my gear. When I pulled off my cap, I heard a ping on the floor. Tweezers. Yes folks, I had run 3.75 miles with tweezers on my head. I had put them in my cap the previous day after removing a rose thorn from my finger. I had meant to take both cap and tweezers up with me but never did.

While I was completely ticked off at my efforts, and myself I had to laugh at myself as well. Then I started to think about everything I had done wrong to bring about the disastrous run. Learn from your mistakes – right? Ok, so I couldn’t blame it all on the tweezers, even though tweezers poking one in the head could be a perfectly logical explanation. The real problem was my training, or lack thereof. I had not been running consistently and it was foolish of me to think that I could just kick out two good running days in a row when it’d been a week since my previous run. Even seasoned runners often alternate days. So my lesson for the day was that it is OK to push yourself, but don't be overzealous. Safe training comes first, this includes removing tweezers from caps.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Finding Motivation

Working out isn't always easy, even I will admit that. I workout 6 days a week, but there are definitely those days when it's a struggle to find motivation to do so. I'm only human. I have bad days at work, or I might get into a funk when we have a bout of bad weather. I think that in order to keep exercise in your life, you must tap into a source (or multiple sources) of motivation. Here is a list of motivators that I turn to. They are in no particular order.

  • Motivator 1 - Look in the mirror - I know, sounds vain, but try it. When I see the results of all of my hard work, it makes it easier to keep up with the hard work. When you lift weights, you can see your muscles growing, toning up, and taking shape. 
  • Motivator 2 - The boost of energy I get after a workout. I may be tired and cranky, but if I can just get moving, I feel so much better. It clears my mind. When you're working out, it's harder to dwell on the bad day. In some ways, cardio has become my medication. I will admit, it can be addicting.
  • Motivator 3 - I run because I am able. I run, but I do not consider myself a real runner. I have never experienced a runner's high. Usually I have to force myself to get going - psych myself up for the run. Once I get going, I do typically fall into a groove. While I run, I focus on how strong my body is to allow me to run when so many others cannot. I run to feel a sense of accomplishment.
  •  Motivator 4 - I read the workout posts from my friends on Cathe Friedrich's forum. I check in with a group of ladies who have the same ideas regarding exercise and healthy eating as I do. One of the ladies who posts also has Multiple Scleroses (MS). When I see the workouts that she does, I am embarrassed to whine and complain about being a little tired or just not "feeling it" that day. If she can do it, I need to shut up and get to it.
  • Motivator 5 - To inspire others. I hope to be a positive example to others. I have been inspired by friends, strangers, unbelievable stories of courage and strength. Why not try to do the same for someone else?
When people decide they want to jump on the exercise band wagon, I think it's important that they be realistic. Don't set unrealistic goals, like lose 10 pounds in a week or run a marathon within a month. Find both internal and external motivators to keep you focused, especially on those days when you really would rather go home, curl up with some ice cream, and do nothing.

What motivates you???

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Must Have Eaten My Wheaties

Last week I started Cathe Friedrich’s October rotation for my weight work. For members of her forum, she puts together a new workout rotation each month that includes weight work using her DVDs as well as cardio, usually her DVDs as well but sometimes suggesting runs or bike rides. I have only followed her rotations once before. The October rotation uses weight work from her Shock Training System (STS) in an undulating method. I was really excited to see this rotation as I’ve been tossing around the idea of starting STS again – just not sure I’m ready to dedicate 3.5 months to the program right now.

Today was Disc 30 for shoulders, triceps, and biceps. The weights were supposed to be 85% of my one rep max for each exercise. I pulled out my workout sheets from my first go at STS and was hoping to be able to lift those weights. I assumed I had some strength loss since I completed the STS program in July. I had a lucky accident, however, and ended up lifting a lot heavier. This was mostly by accident as I left on my weighted gloves for one of the bicep exercises. So when I had planned to lift x amount, I ended up adding 1.5 lb to that. I was so angry at myself thinking I shouldn’t be struggling that hard at that weight. It was only after I had completed all four reps that I realized what I had done. No wonder it felt heavy! However, I realized that I had completely underestimated myself. If I had not accidentally left on the gloves, then I would not have pushed myself to have tried that particular weight.

Feeling pumped, literally, and desperately wanting to run outside and enjoy the absolutely gorgeous day (70+ degrees and full sun), hubby and I went down to the river to run. I felt like I was exerting no energy and could have run all day long. It was a great feeling. I went into the run excited about my weights and knowing I could put in a good run. Mind over matter.

So, I think the lesson learned is that we should never underestimate our capabilities. It’s OK to push yourself, in fact if you don’t, you’ll never know what you’re capable of.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Failure = Recommitment to Exercise

This blog post comes on the heels of a tweet my husband posted. My husband’s views on exercising are a little different from mine. I exercise consistently six days a week including weight training and cardio. I don’t have any specific goals in mind either. He, however, is pretty much all or nothing and must have a goal set, like a race. From my standpoint, he over trains, burns out, then gives it up. It’s a cycle. Eventually he’ll find a new race to sign up for and start the process all over again. Well, the process has started…

After weeks of missing his morning master’s swim classes and not riding his bike or running because of weeks of rain, and zero weight training he decided to ride with some friends on Saturday afternoon. It was finally sunny and warm, although very windy. After more than three hours, I started to get a little concerned that he hadn’t made it home. When I called, he sounded out of breath and exhausted like he’d answered during the middle of the ride, which he never would. He told me he was at a cafĂ© trying to recoup because he had died on the ride. Apparently he did what they call the death march. It was his first, and he’s determined to make it his last. So, he’s back in the training saddle again.  

I think we can all take inspiration out of our failures or missteps. Don’t use them as an excuse to quit. Use them as an excuse to refocus, reassess, and renew.

“Never be discouraged, because every wrong attempt, when left behind you, is another step forward taking you closer to your goals.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

Monday, November 2, 2009

You Don't Eat Meat??!!

My reasons
When people find out that I am vegetarian, you can see the wheels turning. One of the first questions I get is, “What do you eat?” Hmmmm, well, what do YOU eat? I eat the same types of meals everyone else eats, just without the meat. A lot of people ask why I stopped eating meat. They just can’t believe someone would not enjoy the taste of meat, that they’d be willing to give that up. That’s the key. I did not enjoy the taste. My mother always said I was just picky. Perhaps that is it. I also had a few very disgusting encounters with meat that just pretty much sealed the deal for me.

I firmly believe that if I can be healthy not eating meat, then that is how I choose to live my life. I don’t try to be preachy to others. In fact, my husband eats meat outside of the house. I don’t condemn others for eating meat, and I certainly do not find myself somehow more superior. If asked, I will try to educate others on the health benefits and debunk a few myths along the way. And, am always eager to prove that eating vegetarian can be just as satisfying. Friends are often surprised when they eat something I’ve made and realize they don’t miss the meat at all. 

Myths debunked
First off, I do not live on salads contrary to popular belief. In fact, I get really ticked when people excitedly tell me that a particular restaurant will have plenty for me to eat because they have salads. Sorry folks, salads aren’t that filling when they are void of protein. I especially loathe iceberg lettuce salads, typically known as “house salads.” Browning iceberg lettuce with a few shredded carrots and one or two tomatoes just doesn’t cut it as a meal. I can’t imagine that anyone would get filled up on one or find them appetizing. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a good (key word) salad – one that includes some sort of protein like beans or legumes (not cooked in meat of course), fresh vegetables, green, leafy lettuce and spinach. Now that, my friends, is a different story.

People also tend to associate vegetarian dining and cooking with tofu. Tofu is not the staple of my diet. In fact, the majority of vegetarians I know do not rely on tofu either. I do eat tofu from time to time. However, it’s not my favorite protein source.

Another misnomer is that I am thin because I am a vegetarian. Being vegetarian doesn’t equal thinness and doesn’t make someone a pillar of health either. It’s easy to be a junk food addict as a vegetarian. It’s easy to replace meat with highly processed substitutes, breads, pastas, and cheese. Being vegetarian does entail more than simply cutting out meat in order to maintain a healthy diet. You really do have to be conscious about how you put your meals together and avoid the pitfalls of high fat cheeses or high sodium processed foods. I am thin because I exercise and I pay close attention to what and how I eat.

What’s for dinner?
Just to show an example of what I eat, here’s what we had for dinner tonight. Black bean and Goat Cheese Quesadillas. Yummy. It’s sort of a hodge podge dish with no true recipe and lots of possible variations (meat eaters can even add chicken), but here are the basics:

Ingredients:

1 can black beans rinsed and dried
Onion (red or white) finely sliced
Roasted red bell peppers diced
Spinach (fresh or frozen)
Garlic (fresh or powder) to taste
Salt/pepper to taste
Cumin to taste
Red pepper to taste
Chili powder to taste
Olive oil (just a drizzle)
Pan spray
Goat cheese
Mozzarella or provolone, shredded (optional)
Package of flour tortillas (I try to use whole grain)

Other options:
Sundried tomatoes
Fake chicken product such as Mornigstar Farms or Lightlife .

Directions:


In a medium saucepan, add tiny bit of olive oil and sauté onions until soft. Add in roasted red bell peppers, garlic, black beans, and spices. Once everything is heated, add in the spinach to wilt down slightly. Remove from heat.



Heat a non-stick skillet. Spray with pan spray and place one tortilla in plan. Very lightly brown, spraying the side that is up, then flip. Sprinkle on the cheese then spoon on the black bean mixture onto one half of the tortilla. Fold over the other half of the tortilla. Once it has browned on one side, flip and brown the second side.


Serve with sour cream or plain yogurt or even your favorite salsa.