Monday, April 30, 2012

Tex-Mex Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Pumped Up Workout
I'll readily admit that I did not want to go to the gym today. I had no real excuses to not go though. I was just feeling lazy to be honest. But, I did myself a favor and made myself go. I knew I'd regret it if I didn't go.

I think part of my reluctance stems from a bit of boredom. I've gotten into a rut again with workouts. That and sometimes I just am flat out tired of seeing the inside of that place. But, that part aside, boredom all the way. So, I decided to try to do something a little different for my biceps/triceps workout. It's nothing earth-shattering. But it's a switch up from my typical 3 different supersets done as 3 sets of 8 reps....yawn.

So, today I did 4 sets of 8 reps for two supersets then I did dropsets at the end starting with heaviest weight for 6 reps, then increasing the number of reps by 2 as I decreased the weights. I did this 4 times (6, 8, 10, 12).

SS#1
Alternating bicep curls
Double-arm overhead triceps extensions

SS#2
Hammer curls
Triceps pushdowns

Dropset - biceps - curls
Dropset - triceps - lying triceps extensions

And you know what? This was a great workout once I got my rear in gear. I was really still ho-hum during my warmup, but once I got going with the weights, I felt really good, strong. And it was nice having just a little bit of a change in the routine.
So, here's my pumped up #PROOF that sometimes you just have to get yourself moving. Even I have very uninspired days ;-)

(And I will say that I hope my posting this doesn't come off as vain. I really am not all the comfortable posting pics like this, which is why they are rare.)

Tex-Mex Monday
Yesterday, when I went to the store, I randomly picked up some poblano peppers. Jason and I both really like them. I haven't done stuffed poblano peppers in ages, so I thought it'd be a nice change of pace for tonight.

I had originally planned on grilling, but it was raining. I will blame that on the fact that I actually washed my car yesterday.

Tex-Mex Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Ingredients:
2 large poblano peppers
1/2 red onion, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup quinoa
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup frozen corn

To taste: salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, lemon juice, red chili powder

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the cap of the poblano pepper (reserve any usable piece and add to the onions and peppers if you wish). Then, cut a slit into the poblano peppers and remove ribs and seeds. Place in glass dish with lid and bake for approximately 20 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the quinoa per package directions.

In a large skillet, saute onions, garlic, peppers until begin to soften. Add in the corn and cooked quinoa, and season to your preferred tastes. (I like spicy.)

Stuff the peppers with the mixture then top with Daiya Vegan Cheese. Cover and bake until the Daiya is fully melted and peppers are soft, approximately 20 minutes.

Rather than adding black beans into the filling, I decided to make beans to serve on the side. All I did was rinse and drain one can of black beans.

I sauteed some diced red onions with garlic then added in the beans, diced green chiles, and seasonings like salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and red pepper. When the  beans were nice and soft, I removed from heat and sprinkled with diced green onions and some diced cherry tomatoes.
 
Definitely happy with how this turned out. I was also really pleased with the beans. They would make for a great taco or burrito filling.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Surprisingly good workout
Tasty dinner

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Running, Relaxing & Playing

Running and Relaxing
I must say it's been a really good weekend. Yesterday I ended up waking up way earlier than I had wanted. But, it turned out to be a good thing really. At 7 am it was already 70 degrees with high humidity.

I still didn't get my run started as early as I should have, but 9 am on a Saturday was early enough in my mind. I set out on my usual route for longer runs down at the river trails. I was sweating bullets pretty much from the start. The wind started to pick up, which at times felt good because it helped cool me off, but then at the same time I felt like I was running in place.

I definitely had a hard time judging my pace because of the wind. It always throws me off and it sounds crazy but I end up going faster somehow. Like my whole idea of perceived rate of exertion is thrown out of whack. I assume it's hard because of the wind, not because of my speed. So I definitely had to remember to check my pace more frequently.

After the shock of seeing both a bobcat and a colorful snake, things were pretty low-key. I made sure my route took me past a bathroom with water fountain so I could take a potty break (hello hydration), get more water, and re-fuel. I always look forward to taking my GU. That all went down around 5.5 miles into the run.

Overall, I had a great 9 miles. Well, I should say 8.5 were great, the last half a mile kind of sucked. There is part of the trail that is sort of temporary because they are doing construction. So the asphalt is tilted/slanted every which way but right. It's potted, pitted, tilted, and up a hill. And when you're getting fatigued, you just amplify that by about 10 degrees of annoyance and effort. I guess in some ways it's good though. I certainly had no desire to push past 9 miles after getting though that patch.

So 9 miles with average 9:16 pace = happy Heather.

It was a pretty low-key day really. We got a new/used fridge, had to transfer all the food and start cleaning the old fridge out. Jason and I did take a break for a late patio style lunch at Dugan's. It was nice to sit outside and just relax for a bit. We went over to our friends' house for a bit and sat out on their deck, always a nice way to spend an afternoon if you ask me.

Today Jason and I got in a very easy 4 mile run through our neighborhood. We sort of zigzagged up and down streets, which was a nice change of scenery. We kept it slow. It was more of a recovery run for me and Jason's first run in about 2 weeks.

Luckily, I was able to sell our fridge within an hour of listing on Craigslist, so the people came and picked it up. I got my car washed and ran some errands while Jason did yard work.

Then, onto some simple relaxing. We met some friends at a place called Pizza Cafe. They have cold beer, great pizza, and a patio to enjoy it all on. Definitely been a low-key weekend for the most part. Kind of what we both needed though.

Heath and His Toy
I did manage to get a video of Heath playing with his new "talky" ball. I found a ball on Amazon.com that makes noises as long as it's moving - it was suggested on one site I found for blind dogs.

We originally tied a sock around it so he could grasp it - it's a bit larger than he needs and hard plastic. You have to turn the volume up, but you can kind of hear the toy. The weird whining is actually Heath. He goes bonkers for this darn toy and it's nearly impossible to get it away from him.

video


And, in case you missed it, don't forget to enter my NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway!

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Sunshine
  • Running
  • Relaxing
  • Time with friends

Saturday, April 28, 2012

NuNaturals Giveaway & Orange Chocolate Cookie Balls

Baking
I don't often post baking recipes. Actually, I don't really bake that often. But when the kind people from NuNaturals contacted me about trying out two new flavors (orange and lemon), I knew I needed to get into the kitchen.

The basis for this recipe came from Kristina at SpaBettie. You should check out her variety of iterations of this recipe too. But, the base? It's a quick, easy, vegan and gluten-free cookie base.

When I thought of the orange flavoring, I thought about Ghiradelli Dark & Orange squares. I am not really a chocolate person, but will admit those are pretty darn good.



Orange Chocolate Cookie Balls
Ingredients:
1 can chickpeas - rinsed, drained, peeled
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used chunky)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 dropper NuNaturals Stevia
1 1/2 - 2 droppers NuNaturals Orange Stevia (depending on taste preference)
Zest of 1 orange
2 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp brown rice flour
1/4 to 1/3 cup vegan carob chips or dark chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Using a food processor, blend together chickpeas, peanut butter, stevia, cinnamon, orange zest, and orange juice until it starts to form a ball. Add in the rice flour and continue to blend until well-incorporated.

Transfer to mixing bowl and stir in the carob or chocolate chips.

Form into balls and place on a prepared baking sheet. Bake approximately 20 minutes.
These turned out far better than I even imagined. They aren't overly sweet and the orange is just a nice subtle, fragrant touch.

Giveaway
I know I've mentioned it a few times, but I am a huge fan of NuNaturals Stevia. I think it's one of the best tasting stevias you can find. I might be a bit addicted to the liquid vanilla actually.

The wonderful people at NuNaturals contacted me about doing a giveaway for my blog readers. Of course I said yes to that one. Even better is that I get to choose 4 winners!

Winners will receive 1 bottle each of the Orange and Lemon Liquid Stevia Flavors.


*Important Details*
  • Contest is open April 28, 2012 through midnight May 3. 
  • I will announce the winners on May 4.
  • Only open to Continental U.S. Residents.
  • Leave a separate comment for each of the following entries.
Mandatory Entry: Tell me your favorite sweet treat

Optional Entries - please leave a comment for each that you do:
  1. Tweet about the giveaway and include my twitter handle (@hriacobacci) and link to this post.
  2. Share a recipe you make using NuNaturals products
As a bonus, if you order through NuNaturals website, you can use this discount code to receive 15% off your order through June 30, 2012: BLG0612.

Just enter BLG0612 at the checkout page. Also, you get free shipping in the Continental U.S. on all orders totaling $35.



Friday, April 27, 2012

Fun Facts Friday - Weekend Plans

Today is a much-needed rest day that I am going to take full advantage of. I can't believe there was ever a time that I didn't look forward to rest days. Now? You better believe I'm going to take that day off ;-)

I have another physical therapy appointment this afternoon. Something has to give with my piriformis situation. I am so tired of being in near-constant pain. I refuse to pop pain pills like candy. I know they would help, but I just won't go that route.

On a more positive note, I'm also getting my hair trimmed up and going to buy a new pair of running shoes. Definitely something to look forward to on a Friday. I hope to give them a good test run tomorrow.

I had a really hard time coming up with an idea of today's Fun Facts Friday post. I was over thinking it to be honest. I wanted to be funny, witty, something....But maybe I can't always be funny, witty, intriguing.

But with all the thinking, it was becoming contrived. And I never want my posts to feel contrived or dishonest. Then I remembered KISS (keep it simple stupid).

So, I just thought I'd share what I have planned for the weekend. Some of it is boring, some kind of exciting.

  • Running - testing out the new shoes ;-) and I might be running with my PT so that could be fun.
  • Possibly getting a new/used fridge - been wanting stainless for ages and someone at work is selling theirs. 
  • Chores and errands - blah
  • Spending time outside - supposed to be nice weather.
  • Hopefully spending time with friends.
  • Playing with the pups - Heath has a new talking toy that he goes bonkers over. I will try to get a video. It's hysterical.
  • Relaxing. Plain and simple. Just going to enjoy the time off.
  • Posting a giveaway tomorrow (teaser to get you to come back LOL)


What do you have going this weekend? Anything fun or exciting?

Daily To-Enjoy List:

  • Rest day
  • Friday
  • Relaxing
  • Hair cut
  • New shoes

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hot Run, Hot Fajitas

Hot Hot Hot
Today I had a 3.5 mile run planned. I thought Jason was going to go with me, but he had a meeting. So I decided to head out early for my break and get it done as the temps were going up quickly.

I started my run just after 10:30 and it was right at 80 degrees already with high humidity. It started off overcast, which I was thankful about, but then the clouds burned off (of course).

Since I was running solo, around the neighborhood, I decided to stick to more populated streets. I set off in the direction of the arts center and park. It was mostly shaded with a slight breeze. I was settling into a nice groove, or so I thought.

The start of mile 2 is where it started to get hard. I was going up a long, gradual incline, with no shade, and headwinds. It actually made me feel nauseous to be honest.

Once I crested and the road leveled out, I turned a corner and the headwinds subsided, but no shade to be found for about half a mile. I ended up finishing the run on a typical route that is mostly shady, but with one more long, slow, gradual incline. You know, the kind that never ever seem to end. And it was into the headwinds again (lucky me).

I did have to walk for several seconds at 2.25 miles into the run. My heart rate was out of control and so was my breathing. I just needed to sort of calm down, cool down, catch my breath then I continued on. So, it wasn't the fun run I was hoping for, but it wasn't the worst either. Just tough.

In the end, I managed 3.86 miles. And I won't lie, it was hard for my crazy brain to be ok with not rounding out to an even 4. But I just had to stop.
I look scared, maybe it was heat stroke
One hot mess! #PROOF

Fajitas Thursday
I decided to go with fajitas for dinner tonight. We had some yellow squash that needed to be used fairly quickly. Fajitas are always an easy dinner to toss together too.

I just sauteed seitan, red onion, green and red bell peppers with some garlic. After those began to soften, I added in squash and zucchini along with red chili powder, cumin, cilantro, salt, pepper, red pepper, and lemon juice.
 
I served with Daiya Vegan Cheese, jalapenos, and lettuce. So Fajita Thursday doesn't exactly have a great ring to it, but it tasted good nonetheless!

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Sunshine
  • Running outside (despite heat)
  • Easy dinner
  • Painting nails

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Leg Day & Grilled Kale Salad

Leg Day
Originally I had planned on getting in a run today. But the weather had other plans. It wasn't raining, but the winds are a breezy 35 mph. Um, I love running, but I do NOT love fighting the wind. So, I took the "easy" route and hit the gym for legs. Yes, easy route haha.

I started with the elliptical to warmup and low and behold, the short tights guy was there again today on the rowing machine next to me. Thankfully his shorts were longer today ;-)

I went with giants sets of 4 sets of 8 reps unless noted.

GS#1
Barbell squats
Barlbell plie squats
Hamstring roll-ins on ball - 12

GS#2
Single-leg squat
Calf raises - 15 (2 sets with toes straight ahead and 2 sets with toes turned out)
Curtsey lunges w/ dumbbells

I definitely should have gone heavier for barbell squats. Right now I'm not really feeling it at all. But we'll see tomorrow.

I really need to come up with a solid leg workout to help with all of my crazy imbalances, but also one that doesn't take all day to complete. I feel like I've been too scattered with my leg workouts lately.

Grilling
Tonight I really wanted a grilled veggie salad. I actually started marinating my tofu last night even (just balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, a whole-gran mustard, parsley, garlic, salt/pepper, OJ, agave nectar).

Jason wanted fajitas, but since I get home first...and I was going to (wo)man the grill...I made the executive decision.

Rather than just going with my typical grilled veggies over a mix of lettuce and spinach, I decided to grill kale as the base of the salad. I simply de-stem the kale and chop it up, put it in a veggie grill basket. I add a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a lemon pepper spice blend.

Along with the kale, I grilled up the tofu, squash, new potatoes, and used roasted red bell peppers from a jar to toss into the mix.
 

This might be my new favorite salad. 

Daily To-Enjoy List:

  • Sunshine
  • Grilling

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Short Shorts & Spaghetti Squash & Spinach Toss

Gym Day
Today was beautiful. I had really thought I might get in a 3-4 miler, but I thought it was best to rest the running legs (and feet) since I did go farther yesterday. Instead, I hit the gym. But man oh man the sunshine was so inviting.

However, every once in a while you see some funny stuff at the gym that you might not witness running. Though, you witness a lot of funny sh^t running I must say. I never thought I'd have to put this on a do-not-do-at-the-gym list - but this one is going on there. Men, please wear workout shorts, not tights, not underwear-looking booty shorts. Please for the love of anything and everything holy, don't do it.

I've never seen this particular person up there and it was all I could do not to just flat out stare. I noticed him at first because I hear this crazy noise - he was doing burpees, but horribly wrong. It's like he was jumping up with shoulders and back still rounded down so it looked like one of those scared cat cartoon drawings.

But then I noticed the shorts - tights like that ride up mind you. So they were booty shorts to say the least. And he didn't have much to be showing. I'm just glad other...ahem...things didn't fall out. Yes, I sound ugly I'm sure, but seriously???

Ok, back to my workout...I started with my typical warmup on the elliptical before going for back and shoulder. I did supersets of 4 sets of 8 reps followed up with a dropset.

SS Back
Wide grip assisted chinups
Pullovers

Dropset Back - 6, 8, 10 reps

SS Shoulders
Overhead press
Front raise

Dropset Shoulders - 6, 8, 10 reps

I also did 3 sets of 10 reps of low-back extensions and some ab work.

Pre-Made Dinner
As I mentioned yesterday, dinner tonight was pre-made on Sunday night. I had a spaghetti squash that had seen much better days. So, I just roasted that up.

While it was cooking, I just tossed several ingredients into a large bowl: spinach, cherry tomatoes, capers, chickpeas and seasoned with salt, pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, oregano, basil, parsley. I also added in a bit of lemon juice to brighten the flavors.

When the squash was done, I shredded it over the ingredients, tossed and covered to allow the heat/steam from the squash to wilt the spinach.
Love super simple, no fuss dinners. Even better when I don't even have to heat it up ;-)

Daily To-Enjoy List
  • Simple dinner
  • Sunshine

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Bicep Exercise and Running #PROOF

Sunday Gym Day
Yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day. It was sunny but insanely windy - like 30+ mph winds all day. So glad I got my long run done on Saturday that's for sure.

I hit the gym a little after 9 am to get my weights done. I started with the elliptical to warm up while reading the May issue of Oxygen magazine. I almost stopped at one page, but am glad I turned the page. The next article was all about biceps. And that's what I was working.

I saw a new exercise I really wanted to try - the drag curl. So I scratched  hammer curls from my workout and added in the drag curl.

SS#1
Alternating curls
Weighted triceps dips

SS#2
Drag curls (not sure I did these correctly, inconsistent videos on how to perform)
Triceps pushdowns

SS#3
Incline curls
Lying triceps extensions

Dropset - biceps curls - 6, 8, 10
Dropset - double-arm overhead triceps extensions - 6, 8, 10

Overall, really good workout. I definitely need to figure out how to properly do the drag curls. The images in Oxygen magazine made it look like it wasn't a full curl and some videos showed that it was. Of course, some videos showed over hand grip so I'm really confused. But, whatever I did it did engage the muscle ;-)

Relaxing & Gardening
After my workout, I got cleaned up and headed to Whole Foods. I didn't have a ton of stuff on my list, but just a few things I can't get at Kroger. Plus, I wanted to get out of the house.

We ended up having a late lunch with friends at our fave hangout - Dugan's. We had wanted to eat on the patio, but it was just way too windy to do that. But, it was still nice hanging out with friends, relaxing, enjoying the sunny afternoon.

Jason had made a trip to Home Depot for plants and gardening supplies. So we spent the rest of the afternoon/evening getting the garden in shape and planting some colorful plants in the pots I have on the patio. The dogs supervised of course ;-)

Running
Today I decided I wanted (needed) to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather rather than be inside the gym. So, I headed to the river trails after work for my run. I prefer getting my runs in earlier if possible, but this really gave me something to look forward to today actually. A nice change of pace.

It was about 67 degrees and pretty windy, but all sunshine. On my out half of the run, the wind was apparently at my back. Let's just say I had some pretty good time splits until I turned around. At first the wind felt good, helped cool me down. But then it just felt brutal. I was very glad to be running a flat route.
Here's my #PROOF for the day
Despite the wind, it was a really good run. I got in 5.5 miles total and soaked up some sunshine and joy along the way.

Last night I had made dinner for tonight - had a spaghetti squash that had to be cooked. But when Jason got home, he changed plans on me. I was stretching and rolling out when he walked in the door. He asked what was for dinner and I reminded him of what I had already made.

He got one of those disappointed looks on his face. So we had that conversation of "well what else do you want then" and he had it in his mind he wanted chili apparently. So, chili it is tonight, and he's doing the cooking. I call it a winning Monday evening: good run and not having to cook ;-)

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Sunshine
  • Running
  • Jason cooking

Saturday, April 21, 2012

9 Miles & Running Lessons Learned

This morning started off rather cloudy and cool. A front moved through and the temps were in the 40's. Of course this was a great excuse for holding off on my run for a while. Jason obviously couldn't go with me today, so it was the first solo run since before my injures (so early February).

I don't know why, but I was really nervous about doing a long, solo run all of the sudden. I never really minded before. I usually enjoy the "me" time. But this morning I was doing my best to come up with reason to not run.

I even told myself I'd do 4 today then do my long run tomorrow instead...as I was having Jason tape my foot with the KT Tape. The sun started to come out and the temps were in the mid-50's. I knew deep down that I needed to just get out there and stop being a baby.

Actually, I had one thing to look forward to (sort of), I spent Friday evening downloading some new songs for a playlist. But that's a lesson learned I'll get to in a minute. So, I sucked it up, got myself ready and headed out a little after 11.

It felt pretty chilly when I first started going, and very windy. But of course I got warm very quickly. And it turned out to be a damn good run. I felt strong. I felt good. I felt peaceful. I actually had to talk myself out of 10 miles because I was really feeling smug to be honest. So I stopped at 9 (like a good girl) and walked a quarter of a mile to cool down.

While I was running, I had plenty of time to think and found myself coming up with a lessons learned kind of list. I haven't done a running lessons learned post in ages, so I thought I'd share where my mind went today.
  •  55 degrees is cold only when you're not running. When you're running, it's hot. 
  • Wind is either your friend or your enemy. If it's hot you pray for it, if it's headwinds at 25 mph you're cursing it.
  • Garmin's are made for a reason. I'm terrible at pacing myself and am very happy to have the Garmin to help keep myself in check. I do not need to do an 8:45 pace on a long run especially at mile 7. 
  • When you didn't get the lid on your water bottle correctly and it's sloshing out, you're likely to curse out loud in front of children.
  • Children (toddlers) do not run in a straight line. They veer towards you somehow.
  • It's best not to think about the number of bugs you eat during a run.
  • Trying to do a new playlist the night before isn't smart, especially when you're technologically challenged. It wasn't on shuffle so played in alphabetical order by artist. I had no idea I had that many Eminem songs on my playlist. I think it must have been an entire album.
  • It's ok to smile for no particular reason when running. Other runners understand, and everyone else will steer clear because obviously you're crazy.
  • Sometimes the best runs are the ones you try to avoid. 
What are some of your running or workout lessons learned? My list was a lot longer while I was running. I always forget most of what I was thinking no matter how sure I am that I'll remember. Running amnesia perhaps?


Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Sunshine
  • Running
  • Relaxing

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fun Facts Friday - Kreativ Blogger Award

The other day, the beautiful Kalli from Fit and Forty Something gave me a Kreativ Blogger Award. I must say I really do feel honored and very appreciative.


With this award, I am supposed to share 7 things about myself, then of course pass the award along to some other fantastic bloggers (that's the hard part, choosing).
  1. I am someone who always feels that it's necessary to be doing something, but I am somehow still pretty darn lazy. My to-do list is out of control. 

  2. I have only had a manicure once. I have 2 certificates right now, but am too lazy to make an appointment. So, I paint my own nails. 

  3. I always think people with short hair are super sassy, confident, and outgoing. I, however, am really none of those things, yet I have super short hair. I think I keep my hair short as sort of a russe, to pretend I'm all of those things.

  4. I always worry that I'm going to say something really stupid, offensive, or inappropriate so I tend to keep my mouth shut. Trust me, it happens all the time. My sister and I joke that we have this problem of opening our mouths and letting the shit fall out.

  5. I think I have a shopping addiction. 

  6. I could go shoe shopping every day - see #5.

  7. I am hyper sensitive - not just emotionally, but when it comes to sounds, textures, you name it. The ceiling fan in our room started making a ticking noise (Jason doesn't believe me) so I refuse to turn it on now. But I have to have a box fan going to drown out other noises so I can sleep. Any odd noise, foul smell, or uncomfortable textures would be the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard to some. Blood pressure seriously skyrockets. 
I honestly struggled with trying to figure out who to pass this award to. I know that might sound silly, but seriously, I think everyone is worthy. You all take time to write blogs, to comment, to interact, to inspire. So I thought I'd choose a few categories and link to those.

Inspiration - Lindsay at Cotter Crunch

Amazing Foods - Kristina at SpaBettie

Newish (to me) - Samantha at Running and Cupcakes

Running - Kristin at StuftMama

While I couldn't list everyone, I really would love everyone to share at least one thing about themselves or share a blog link to someone you think deserves this award.

Daily To-Enjoy List:

  • Friday
  • Rest Day
  • Lunch with friend

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Vegan Sloppy Joes & Weights vs Run

Kidney Stones & Eating
I must start off by thanking everyone for their well wishes for Jason in regards to yesterday's post. Right now he's still in pain and just waiting for the stones to pass. If that doesn't happen soon, then they will have to do surgery (not sure how invasive the procedure is to be honest). So, fingers crossed that doesn't have to happen.

I started looking up information about kidney stones - apparently I forgot everything from the last time this happened. Some causes can be eating foods too rich in oxalate. And apparently everything we eat is on this list. From sweet potatoes, peppers, beans, and soy to wheat, coffee, and even blueberries.

Apparently we should be eating mangoes, cheese, graham crackers, cauliflower, and beef, ham, or poultry according to a list of low-oxalate foods.

Um, no to the meat for starters. And where do you get a good balance of nutrients from when apparently most fruits and vegetables are high-oxalate foods? And then there's the protein issue. Jason does eat meat outside of the house. But this is not often, and I do not cook, touch, handle meat period.

I think we are both a little frustrated when looking at possible dietary causes. Though, Jason pointed out that some of the information is conflicting. But it seems like nearly all information is that way anymore. Good news - wine is not a high-oxalate "food." LOL

And I do realize that this could be simply hereditary and that trying to cut back on the high-oxalate foods is more realistic than cutting them out completely. And there are other causes as well - like dehydration (though Jason does drink lots of water) and stones are often found in people who sweat a lot (which he does when working out). So....a bit over-dramatic on the food rant?

Weights vs Run
Today I really debated with myself about my workout. At the beginning of the week I had it all planned out that I'd do 3 miles today with Jason then do legs after work. Obviously Jason isn't in any shape to run. I really didn't want to run the neighborhood route solo.

Then I started thinking that I could just run after work down at the river trail. But I knew that if I did that, I'd go for a longer run - like 5-6 miles. But then I knew I wanted to run this weekend. So was 5-6 miles smart? Probably not since I'm still far from being fully recovered.

But then I felt totally worn out. Not really motivated to do anything, especially see the inside of the gym. But, I can't workout tomorrow. So my wheels were turning. But then I had to seriously stop myself and figure out what I really needed to do.

What workout was important. Did I really "need" to run. Or did I just have it stuck in my head that I should. I think now that I'm back out there, I have this drive to do more more more. And I'm going to get hurt hurt hurt if I do that. So time to step the heck back and re-evaluate.

So, I went to the gym on this gorgeous sunny day. And I know it was the smart choice. I started with 20 minutes on the elliptical to warm up then hit the weights for legs. I had originally planned on my typical supersets but was feeling a little spunky. I decided to go with giant sets of 3x8.

GS #1
Barbell squats
Barbell plie squats
Step ups with dumbbells

GS#1
Narrow stance dumbbell squats with low-end pulse
Calf raises with dumbbells
Bulgarian split squat

In the end, a good workout. I am glad I ended up making this choice and feel like it really was the right one. Sometimes it can be so hard to really stop yourself, step back, and re-evaluate. To be honest with yourself about what you really should be doing vs what you think you should be doing. Or maybe that's just how my crazy brain works.

I just get something stuck in my head and it's hard to let it go. I honestly feel guilty somehow for not getting in that run. Like somehow I'm taking the easy way out, or making up excuses. I know....trust me I know....how silly that must sound. Please someone else say they understand!

Sloppy Joes
Thursdays tend to be the nights I am just sort of done with cooking. I have pretty much cooked all week, I'm also fatigued from workouts. I just want to take a break. I had no ideas of what to make, especially if I started thinking about what I shouldn't be cooking with.

I kind of thought about grilling out veggies for a sandwich. Jason decided he wanted Sloppy Joes. So, I let him go with it. He was acting like he was feeling a little better and at least had an appetite finally. Lucky for me/him, I had made some Sloppy Seitan Joes and Sloppy Tempeh Joes previously. 

So, he followed the recipe and used TVP instead. And we had it with baked sweet potato fries. I mean, it is a sandwich after all and sandwiches around here are paired with sweet potatoes ;-)

Since I am not a good food photographer, and sloppy anything is nearly impossible to photograph, I'm going to just leave it up to your imagination tonight if you don't mind.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Sunshine
  • Good workout
  • Not having to cook

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Kidney Stones & Moroccan Inspired Quinoa Veggie Salad

Kidney Stones Suck
Well, last night ended up being a rough one - as some of you guess from Facebook posts and tweets. It was definitely rougher for Jason than me though. After dinner he started saying he had been hurting and was afraid it was a kidney stone. He had one (or a few) four years ago.

He had actually stashed the pain medication that they had given previously because he was so afraid of having them again. Yes, not supposed to take expired medication. But he was desperate, so he took one. Of course it had lots a lot of its potency so it wasn't kicking in.

Finally, he admitted he needed to get to the ER. I know he was holding out because a trip to the ER is never enjoyable. But he was desperate and I could tell. I got us there in record time is all I'll say about my driving.

Of course we had to wait, and wait...and continue to wait. Most people didn't look ill at all, except for one person who vomited everywhere and a wheezing infant. The whole time, Jason is still in pain, pale, shaking. It took probably 2 hours before we were taken back and at least another 45 minutes before he finally got an IV for fluids and some pain medication. We didn't get home until about 1 am.

I don't know how I did it, but I got myself out of bed and made it to work 10 minutes early even. Though, I was a complete zombie and worried about Jason. He managed to get an appointment at his urologist today where they did a CT scan and evaluation. Of course, they couldn't really do anything to fix the problem. So, he's still hurting and I feel terrible because there's nothing I can do.

Lifting for Energy
After appointments and pharmacy visits, I forced myself to the gym. I wasn't planning anything over the top. I wasn't sure I'd last 10 minutes to be honest. But I'm glad I went because it did give me a little bit of an energy boost. And oddly, I felt pretty strong for the weights.

I did supersets for back and shoulders as 4 sets of 8 reps with a dropset at the end. Let's just say the dropsets did me in. Already feeling this workout. Oh, and maybe the extra set I added in.

SS - Back
Underhand barbell row
Pullovers

Dropset - Back
Double-arm rows - 6 at heaviest weight, 8 at next lighter, 10 at next lighter

SS - Shoulders
Lateral raise
Front raise

Dropset - Shoulders
Overhead shoulder press - 6 at heaviest weight, 8 at next lighter, 10 at next lighter

Going Moroccan 
Originally, I thought I'd be grilling out. But Jason doesn't have much of an appetite. So I went with something simpler, something that could be eaten at room temperature whenever he felt up to it. I sort of went with Moroccan spices  as my theme for this quinoa salad.

Moroccan Inspired Quinoa Veggie Salad
Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup raisins
1 bunch broccoli
3-4 carrots (depending on size), shredded
1/2 a 10oz container grape tomatoes, halved
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
To taste: salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, allspice

Directions:
Cook quinoa per package directions. When there is approximately 3 minutes left, add in the raisins. Once done, remove lid and add in the spices.

Meanwhile, steam your broccoli to desired tenderness.

In a large bowl, combine carrots, tomatoes, and chickpeas.

When the quinoa and broccoli are done, add them to the bowl. The heat/steam will help soften the tomatoes and the carrots. Mix well and re-season if needed. 
 

I was really pleased with how this turned out and how easy it was to throw together. The flavors are fairly mild and earthy. I think it would be fantastic with butternut squash or sweet potatoes as well. Of course, I think anything is good with either of those two veggies.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Sunshine
  • Easy dinner

 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Speed Work, Grilled Kale & White Bean Quesadilla & PSA

Speed Work
We had another cool and mostly cloudy day. It was supposed to be sunny and upper 70's. But it was only about 65 and overcast when we set out for a run at 11:45.

We decided to actually, willingly do speed work. I haven't done any real speed work/drills since probably January. We've done a few tempo runs, but those were mostly unplanned. We warmed up for a mile while heading to our destination.

Since we weren't on a track with marked distance (ran on a park lawn), we measured distance by our strides. Jason had this workout from years ago - it's similar to striders or gentle pickups. You start off easy then gradually increase speed to about 90% of max effort. Most suggest ranges of like 80 meters (just one example). Then a brief rest before repeating.

We counted our strides for right foot strike. Jason was counting 20 (so 40 steps total) and I chose 25 because 20 didn't seem to get my little legs very far ;-) We repeated 12 times total then ran another mile back home for 3 miles total.

We used to do this workout at least once a week, but haven't in years. It's definitely a leg workout I can tell you that much. Note to self: do more squats. Lots more squats. Oh and deadlifts....

I will say that doing drills like this, if you really pay attention, can tell you a little bit about your form, what you might need to improve on.

I am feeling the workout mostly in my quads, this tells me I am not fully or properly engaging my hamstrings and glutes. Huge weakness still and this is probably what is preventing my piriformis from recovering. No strength and mis-use. Of course, this is my non-professional opinion. A very frustrated, non-professional, too-much-googling opinion.

But, the run? Short, sweet, sweaty.

More Grilling
Remember how I've been on a grilled kale kick? Well, it's back again tonight. I debated on several different things I wanted to try, including grilled kale & tofu sandwiches or wraps. What I ended up going with was Grilled Kale & White Bean Quesadillas.

To grill the kale, I simply clean it, de-stem, and give it a good chop. I lightly dress it with olive oil, salt, and ground pepper. I use a veggie grill basket and just grill until tender. You'll get some nice crisp edges too - similar to kale chips. Also added in a white onion to grill with the kale.

For the filling of the quesadilla, I blended up: white beans, sundried tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers, drizzle of olive oil, a few tablespoons of soy yogurt and seasoned with parsley, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper, a splash of lemon juice and a splash of red wine vinegar to brighten the flavors.

I always lightly grill or brown one side of my tortilla before flipping over and filling it. I think it prevents it from getting mushy with both sides being crisp. I spread the bean mixture evenly and add the kale to half the tortilla then fold the other side over. I find it a lot easier to cook them this way rather than stacking one tortilla on top of the other and attempting to flip them.

And just a quick PSA 
Please please please hang up the phone when driving unless it's just an absolute, must-take, urgent call. 

I almost got into a serious wreck coming home because someone was talking their cell and blew through a red light coming off an interstate off ramp (meaning they weren't driving slowly). I am so very thankful that my reactions were quick and correct or I would have been T-boned. No phone call or text message is that important. 

End of rant.

Daily To-Enjoy List
  • Running
  • Grilling
  • Not getting into an accident

Monday, April 16, 2012

Running, Lifting and Grilled Tempeh & Veggie Salad

Weekend Recap 
I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Mine was good. Not quite as planned, but still good. I decided to pretty much log off most of the weekend, so no blog postings. I didn't really have anything super exciting to post. Not that it was a bad weekend mind you.

Saturday Jason and I got in a good 8-mile run. It was insanely humid so the wind was actually a welcome thing for a change. For the most part, no pain. My piriformis started to get pretty tight towards the end of the run, but I made sure to stretch, roll, stretch and ice (foot as well).

I am so happy that running is back to being enjoyable. My first few runs after my hiatus were simply awful. I honestly thought I'd never enjoy running, never want to go back out there again.

Sunday I hit the gym rather than the pavement. I really wanted to run again, but Jason's feet were feeling tight. It was gusting winds too, so I think the gym was the right choice. I did biceps and triceps as supersets of 3x8 (unless noted) then finished off with dropsets.

SS#1
Alternating curls
Triceps pushdowns

SS#2
Hammer curls
Weighted triceps dips - 10 reps

SS#3
Cross-body curl
Lying triceps extensions

DS - bicep curls - 6, 8, 10 (start with heaviest weight, quickly move to next lighter weigh but increase reps)
DS - triceps overhead extensions - 6, 8, 10

I hit the grocery store after the workout then we went over to a friend's for a short visit. The storms were holding off, so we got to sit outside and enjoy her deck and new landscaping. When we got home, we decided to continue with the outside theme and just relaxed on our patio for an hour or so.

Running
Today started off rather gray and cool. But, that kind of worked out ok for our lunchtime run. It was about 63 degrees when we set out. The sun did start to try to come out, but there was a nice breeze so it wasn't terribly warm - unlike what the Boston Marathoners were contending with. That's just insane.

While some were running a marathon, our goal was an easier 4 miles. I ran without taping up my heel with the KT Tape for the first time. I'll admit that my foot wasn't quite as happy today. I'm torn between feeling like it's a crutch or the fact that it's just what I need right now. But then when and how to ween myself off of it....

Today was a fairly high-traffic day. Meaning longer stops at intersections. I tried not to get annoyed, just go with it and enjoy the run. Which, overall, I thought was pretty good, the run that is.

Grilling
Since it was nice weather, I decided to grill out this evening. I went with a Grilled Tempeh and Veggie Salad. I used my typical go-to veggies for this: sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash, bell peppers, and mushrooms.

I made a super simple marinade/dressing by whisking together balsamic vinegar, whole grain mustard, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, pepper, thyme, and a splash of OJ. I served over a bed of leaf lettuce and spinach. Gotta get in that spinach ;-)
Oh, I did get a bit indulgent and topped with some tomato basil goat cheese. Livin' large on a Monday.

What are your go-to veggies when you grill out, or for salads in general? I feel like I need to get a little more creative here. But then again, why fix it if it ain't broke right?

Daily To-Enjoy List
  • Running
  • Grilling
  • Sunshine
  • Nice weather

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fun Facts Friday - An Athlete's Home

Last night as I tripped over a pair of Jason's running shoes, it just hit me, this is a house of athletes. Not professional mind you. But athletes nonetheless. I run and lift, he runs, swims, cycles. So we have an abundance of workout related gear strewn about the house. Pretty much in every nook and cranny to be honest. So, I thought it'd be fun for Fun Facts Friday to do a "you know when..." kind of post.

You know you live in a household of athletes when...

  • You have 4 different types of aches and pains creams (such as Tiger Balm, Icy Hot, BioFreeze....)
  • Shoes are piled up all around (and this is not even half of them)

 

  • 80% of your laundry is workout clothes
  • You have multiple workout bags
  • You have 3 containers of KT Tape (in 3 different colors of course)
  • Part of your book collection includes books on running, injury prevention, anatomy, triathlon training, and weight lifting
  • You keep sweat towels in your car at all times
  • You have a shelf in the cabinet just for all the water bottles
  • You have a drawer just for your GU packets, energy and protein bars
  • You purchase your GUs and Gels in by the box not individually
  • You have at least 2 drawers dedicated just for your workout clothes (for me that's 1 for long sleeves, long pants, capris, the other for shorts, sports bras, tanks)
  • You have 2 yoga mats (or more) - I keep one in the living room
  • You have your foam roller or Triggerpoint Kit at arm's reach (mine is with my yoga mat in the living room)
  • You own a heating pad and have several ice packs designated for recovery purposes
Your turn - how do you know you live in a household of athletes? Do you see yourself as an athlete?

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Rest day
  • Sunshine
  • Relaxing

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Running, Lifting, Grilling & Heath Update

A New Route
Another cooler, but sunny day for us. This morning it was 48 degrees, a far cry from our lows of 60. When Jason and I set out for our lunchtime run, I had on a short sleeved top and shorts. I had to talk myself out of capris or sleeves because I knew I'd warm up. It was right at 60 with a cool breeze, but lots of sunshine.

The minute we started moving I mentioned that I was cold. Jason agreed. I had mapped out a different route, well, part of it I mapped. Just wanted some different scenery. For the most part, it was a pretty good route. Some gradual inclines, but definitely new views.

I should have mapped the whole thing though. I had planned to head straight down one street and take a right onto 23rd. I saw 22nd then realized there was a 23rd on the left, but not the right. Ok, so we get to 24th and take a right but it dead ended so we had to take the next right and I thought we'd just take a left at 23rd....still no 23rd. So we were forced to hit 22nd. Oh 22nd street you hate me....one, long, big, hill with another hill at the top of the big, long hill.

I felt like I had my butt kicked and handed to me on a platter by the time we made it to the top. I was huffing, puffing, and kind of ticked at my endurance. I mentioned something about that and Jason said that was mostly power. Ok, thank you, so my power is what sucks. Either way...I was winded.

We kept going and I was still huffing and puffing. Then I realized we were at an 8:20 pace. Well, at least I had a very valid reason for feeling like I was working so darn hard. We slowed the pace some so we could both recoup. Once again, having that darn Garmin can pay off - it helped me realize I was pushing harder than I needed. Otherwise, I think I would have just kept pushing on until I just couldn't go any longer.

Total miles - 4.

New Workout 
I did hit the gym after work to get in a leg workout. I went with a circuit style - something I haven't done in eons. Don't feel like it was the best workout in the world, but I got it done. I am worried about lifting right now with all of my piriformis pain. My PT thinks I need to keep up with my leg weights along with all the other exercises.

For the circuit, I did each each exercise with no rest between for 8 reps (unless noted) and repeated for 3 rounds total.

Barbell squats
Alternating step ups (with dumbbells)
Plie squats with low-end pulse (single dumbbells held in both hands)
Calf raises (dumbbells)  - 15 reps
Single leg deadlifts with weight in both hands
Side lunge with hip lift

I did some abs after the workout and then went home to stretch and roll out. I may feel this more than I think tomorrow.

Grilling & Heath Update
Tonight I'm letting Jason grill. I'm kind of done with cooking. I'm kind of done period. So very glad tomorrow is Friday AND a rest day. Anyway, he's grilling up kale, onions, bell peppers and Tofurky Keilbasa to make sandwiches with. I think he might also have sauerkraut.

Rather than bore you with the details of dinner, I wanted to talk about Heath. So many of you have sent well-wishes and virtual hugs to the Heath Man.

I have to thank Danielle at Long May You Run for sending me a link to a site with some fantastic information about living with a blind dong. She has a furbaby that is almost blind as well.

I have ordered a book and a new toy (makes lots of noise). I have definitely been doing a lot of research on how to keep him active and happy. Definitely feeling a little more positive than I was after we heard the news last week.

But, I won't lie, it still makes me very sad for the guy. I feel like I failed somehow, but I know that's not really true. His blindness is genetic plain and simple. And he's adjusted so well that we had no idea he was blind. Sneaky little man!

But from what I've read, they say that for dogs, sight is 3rd on the list of senses they use. We just have to learn how to be patient, teach some new commands, and specialize his toys. In the meantime, he continues to get tons of snuggle time.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Sunshine
  • Running with Jason
  • Not having to cook dinner
  • Painting my nails

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Giant Sets & Grilling Bok Choy

Giant Sets
Our weather this week has definitely returned back to more normal-spring-like temps. Today was just downright cold after almost 90 degrees last week. We struggled to hit 60 and it was gray and dreary. Good thing my workout plan was to hit the gym.

I started with a warmup on the elliptical then did giant sets for back and shoulders. I did 8 reps for each exercise and 3 sets for each giant set.

GS - Back
Assisted chinups
Double-arm row
Pullovers

GS - Shoulders
Overhead press
Lateral raise
Front raise

Giant sets go by super fast, but they are no joke. I had to go down in weight for my lateral raises because my muscles were just too fatigued. Love tossing these in once in a while.

Grilling Experiment
We had some bok choy that needed to be used. Of course I could have gone the easy route and made up a simple stir fry. But we've really been wanting to try grilling it. Luckily, the sun did finally come out at the end of the day so it made it feel more like grilling weather - even if it was on the chilly side.

All I did was cut the bock choy bunch in half lengthwise and gave it a good wash. I dried it off then microwaved for about 3 minutes before giving it a very light spray of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Place it on the grill and watch it closely, flipping once.

I decided to grill tofu and mushrooms as well to go along with the bok choy. I made up a Pineapple Ginger Sauce to use as a marinade for tofu as well as a dressing. I let the tofu marinate for a bit then tossed it on the grill along with the mushrooms.

Once the bok choy was done I cut it into smaller pieces then pile everything onto a bed of brown rice and drizzled with the Pineapple Ginger Sauce.

Pineapple Ginger Sauce
Ingredients:
Fresh pineapple - I used about 6 chunks
Fresh ginger, grated or finely diced - to taste, I used about a 1/2 inch piece
Honey or agave nectar - to taste
1/2-whole jalapeno (depending on size), diced
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup OJ (approximately - this is to desired consistency) 
To taste: salt, pepper, parsley

Directions:
Put all ingredients into a food processor or blender and puree.

 
There were a couple of mistakes I made with this dish. I should have pressed the tofu rather than dry-searing and then let them marinate longer.

I should have also put the whites of the bok choy over the heat and turned off the middle burner where the greens were. But, overall, not bad. The sauce turned out fantastic, so I'm definitely using that one again.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Good weight session
  • Grilling
  • Trying new recipe

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Running Gear & Non-Steak Salad

New Running Gear
Today I had extra incentive to get out and run - new running gear! I ordered a couple of things for myself and Jason from Brooks Running on Friday and it already arrived today. Love fast shipping like that! Needless to say, I "had" to take my new hat and shirt for a test run.



I loved the hat. It is super light and kept the sweat out of my face - huge plus for me. It was a little big so I kind of had to rig it a little, but I have to do that with almost every hat I buy.

The shirt is the ideal shirt for warm-weather running. Normally I just wear a sports bra when it gets hot. But I have wanted to try singlets but never found any that didn't stick to me, make me feel claustrophobic. They all seem to make me even hotter, the last thing I need when it's it's 80+ degrees out.

It was about 73, so not terribly hot mind you, but definitely sweat-inducing after you got moving. And this shirt? I wish I would have ordered several of them. It is super light, airy, and definitely moisture-wicking. I would highly recommend to anyone who runs in the heat but doesn't want to just run in a sports bra.

We got in a nice 3.6 mile run today. Tried to keep the speed in check. We've kind of gotten into a habit of going fast for any shorter runs, and this isn't the best habit for me right now trying to fully recover. I'm afraid I've been pushing too hard to be honest.

And this is where having a Garmin truly comes in handy - I could monitor my speed and keep myself in check. It also helped me stop myself at the distance we had set out for rather than just pushing on and going longer (which I really wanted to do).

Overall, I thought it was a really good run. Jason probably started to get a bit annoyed with me as I was chatting quite a bit. I think that's why sometimes he goes faster...to shut me up ;-)

Not-Steak Salad
When I got home from work, I did my new low-back exercises, stretched, and rolled for about 30 minutes. I wish I got paid for all that! I have a feeling my back is going to be sore tomorrow.

Dinner tonight ended up being a take on something we used to make ages and ages ago. I had found a steak salad wrap recipe from some magazine or other many years ago. I used a product I can no longer find to sub as the steak in the salad.

Lucky for me, Gardein has started making a product that I thought would sub nicely for this salad - BBQ Skewers. Since I no longer have the recipe, I sort of just winged the whole thing. It's what I do best really.

I sauteed red onion, green and red bell peppers, jalapenos, and fresh garlic until the onions began to soften. I added in the skewers, black beans, and frozen corn and cooked until the corn was thawed. I seasoned with cumin, cilantro, salt, pepper, chili powder, and lime zest. At the very end, I tossed in green onions and diced tomatoes.

I made up a dressing using fresh lime juice, lime zest, pineapple, green chile peppers with some red wine vinegar, cilantro, and salt.
 

I topped with some Daiya Vegan Cheese and did add some more jalapenos to mine. While this was nothing like the original recipe, it was pretty darn good in my book.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Sunshine
  • Running
  • New running clothes

Monday, April 9, 2012

Piriformis Update & Grilled Veggie Salad

New Piriformis Exercises
Today wasn't too terrible for a Monday. Of course, I did leave a little early. That always helps huh ;-) I had another round of physical therapy today. My PT has been really researching piriformis syndrome and found an interesting article that discusses the use of McKenzie Exercises - typically used for back pain.

I have started adding in low back extensions (one of the exercises) but now have a whole new list of exercises to add into my workout rotations. But, if it helps, I'll do it. I also asked her about dry needling (thanks Sarena), which is sort of similar to acupuncture, but is more about trigger point and intramuscular stimulation.

And I'm glad I asked because the timing is uncanny. One of the doctor's in the clinic happens to be going to get certified this weekend. They both believe that I am a prime candidate for the procedure. So we'll see how that goes. Kind of scared because I hate hate hate needles.

Have any of you tried dry needling?

Bis/Tris
I did get in a pretty solid workout for biceps and triceps. I started on the elliptical as a warmup then went with my typical supersets of 8 reps for 3 sets unless noted.

SS#1
Alternating curls
Lying triceps extensions

SS#2
Hammer curls
Double-arm overhead triceps extensions

SS#3
Incline curls
Double-arm kickbacks

I did a short ab workout after the weights as well before calling it done for the day. 

Grilling
Yesterday was rather gray and gloomy, and much much cooler than the crazy warm temps we've been having. I suppose you could say it actually felt like spring weather, but since it's been so warm, it felt much cooler than it really was. Or that's my story.

So it was a nice change to see the sunshine today and temps back to 80. This meant I "had" to grill out for dinner of course. Which also made meal planning a cinch. I just went with a grilled Tempeh and Veggie Salad. Super easy, but super tasty.

I made up a quick mustard balsamic marinade for the tempeh and grilled that along with squash, zucchini, portobellos, and sweet potatoes. I tossed it all on a bed of spinach and leaf lettuce and added in some jarred roasted red bell peppers.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Sunshine
  • Warm temps
  • Grilling

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Running, Relaxing, Enjoying Family Time

Saturday Recap
Yesterday turned out to be a great day for so many reasons. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Oh and cooler temps in the morning - perfect for a run. Jason and I got in a great 7-mile run. For me, it was ideal because I had zero heel pain during the run. This was the first run since probably November that I can recall having no heel pain. A-mazing.

After the run, it was a little tender, but nothing at all like it's been. I truly believe that my plantar fasciitis pain is on the mends. Not just starting to feel better, but definitely healing up.

My piriformis is now my main issue to contend with. During the run, it didn't bother me. But anytime I sit for more than about 30 minutes, my sciatic nerve starts screaming at me. And I know this means my piriformis is still very much inflamed and not on the mends. I do have PT tomorrow and she plans to discuss some more invasive options - hopefully just injections.

Anyway, after our run, we had to get ourselves ready and head to my mom's house (an hour away). We were having our "Easter" lunch a day early. My sister was there with her two kiddos too. My niece wanted to be included in all the pictures AND she had to goof around with her uncle Jason of course.


Purple flower courtesy of my niece






It turned out to be a really nice family day.

Sunday
Today was not nearly as pretty. Kind of gloomy and much cooler. Jason and I had planned on getting in a 3-mile recovery run, so the cooler temps weren't really a big deal.

I actually slept in (well, got up at 6:30 and made myself stay in bed and go back to sleep) until 8:15 - a very nice treat for me. I did get some laundry going, swept, dusted, a few chores like that, then we set out on our run.

We decided to just run from the house towards downtown. We didn't have a specific route planned, just a general idea. What this means ultimately is that we ended up hitting 4.5 miles rather than the planned 3.

But, once again, no heel pain during the run, so big score! And I did behave and stop at 4.5 because my wheels were going I won't lie. I easily could have pushed on to 5 or even 6 had I not really been honest with myself.

The rest of the day has been pretty lazy, and that's just fine with me. It's been a super busy, super emotional past few days anyway. So just relaxing, enjoying time together (with the pups of course), unwinding is exactly what we needed today.


Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Running
  • Relaxing

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Day in Pictures - Mount Nebo

Well, yesterday didn't go quite as planned. This poor baby didn't get his surgery after all.
We spent an hour talking with the vet about everything, the surgery, complications, etc. before leaving him in their care. They had to do a few other tests just before surgery to check his retinas and other areas of the eye. But that needed to be done when he was under anesthesia. 

In the end, he was diagnosed with progressive retinal atrophy. He's going blind, and there is nothing that can be done. The cataract surgery would have simply been a waste of money, as it (at best) would have given him his sight from about 6 months ago and it wouldn't have lasted but maybe 6 months at the most.

We found this out after our hiking and picnic, so we did at least have a good time doing that. Jason and I are both terribly sad about the whole thing. I know that he's healthy and happy otherwise and must remember that this isn't a death sentence by any means. I just wanted my furman to be able to see so he could run, play, hike with us.

While we were waiting on Heath, we took Maddie for a hike. We found a moderate intensity trail that was 3.5 miles around the rim of Mount Nebo. So here's our day in pictures
















I haven't been posting on Saturdays, but I did want to share about Heath. I also wanted to thank everyone for their kind words on Friday's post. I loved reading everyone's pet stories and appreciate the well wishes for Heath's surgery.