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chia seeds are like weight training

11 Nov

Hello!

Thanks so much for the sweet comments on my Thailand post from yesterday.  Reminiscing about our time there is near to my heart, so I’m super thankful that you guys enjoy hearing about it. I’m sure there will be more to come:)

Today was rainy and dreary here in Oklahoma, which lent a kind of peacefulness and relaxation to the day.  And laziness I suppose:)

I pretty much rocked it out at the gym though, getting in 4.5 miles on the treadmill and lifting arms, chest, back, legs and abs.  I have to admit, I am so thankful that I can spend more time at the gym these days.  Last year it was a major feat to even make it in the front door, and I’m well aware that this is probably a very small window in my life in which I can spend almost as much time there as I want (within reason of course) – I’m really trying to take advantage of it!

As soon as I walked back in the door of my house, I headed straight to my blender.  Minutes later I was guzzling this:

Chocolate milk!

Actually, it was better than chocolate milk.  I blended one and a quarter cups of unsweetened almond milk, 2 tablespoons of Vega Shake and Go Smoothie powder and some ice.  I have become a huge fan of Vega in my green smoothies, but this was the first time I’d had it just in milk.  I’m telling you, this will become a regular occurrence for post-workout fuel.  It has many of the benefits of Amazing Grass, but also boasts 11 grams of complete protein per serving.  Perfect to repair muscles after an intense workout.  As much as I love my Amazing Grass, I think if my wallet forces me to choose, I’d have to go with Vega at this point.  It truly is the only protein powder I’ve ever actually liked.

Anyway, by the time I got back from the gym, showered and dressed, and caught up on some email, the husband was pulling up outside ready for lunch!

I swiftly got to work making hummus, and it was the most troublesome batch of hummus I’ve ever created.  First, my food processor broke.  As soon as I turned it on it started making this really weird noise like a dying engine and then I started to smell something burning.  Oh-kay!

Time to bring in the reinforcements.

Enter…the Magic Bullet.  My biggest problem with the Magic Bullet is that it is too small.  And the lid gets stuck and won’t come off if you leave it processing for too long.  Which of course happened today.  So, I ended up with a big mess and a bad attitude.

But at least I also came out with a veggie pita.

This pita was super basic, layered with a generous helping of homemade hummus, broccoli slaw, pickles and chia seeds.  mmm.

This was kind of a light lunch, so it wasn’t but a few hours later and I was ready for a snack.

soy yogurt, chias, raw oats and unsalted almonds

More chias!  I told you they’d be back in the picture around here.  Chia seeds are kind of like weight training for me.

I don’t realize how much I miss them until I bring them back!  And once I start, I just can’t stop.

I spent a large portion of the afternoon researching vitamins.  I’ve never been a big vitamin person, aside from B12, because I believe that you can get all the nutrients you need out of a healthy diet.  But I know that sometimes I slack on getting in the right amounts of certain foods, so I’m going to start incorporating some vitamins into my day.  For the most part, it can’t hurt…and it just might help in certain areas!  I especially did a lot of research about vitamins and acne.  Yes, I’m still have problems with my skin. Honestly, it is as bad as ever, and I’ve kind of come to a breaking point.

Anyway, I need to do a little more research, but once I settle into which ones I’m taking, I’ll do an update.

Onto dinner.  I’ve known pretty much all week that I was going to make tofu for dinner tonight, but I hadn’t yet decided how I was going to make it.  I set up the tofu to press around 5, then started looking around for a good marinade or sauce.

And I found this.

Indonesian Tofu with Peanut Butter
original recipe found here


Ingredients

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Directions

  • Heat large skillet over medium heat
  • place tofu slices in skillet and press down with spatula until brown.  Flip and repeat on other side.
  • Once tofu is cooked through (browned on both sides and chewy on the inside) pour peanut sauce over tofu and continue to cook for several more minutes.
  • Serve over rice or noodles

I served this tofu over a bed of soba (buckwheat) noodles with a side of broccoli.  While it wasn’t the absolute best tofu I’ve ever tasted, it was pretty dang good and I would definitely make it again.  The husband actually raved and raved about it, so if I don’t make it again, he probably will! We did both go back for seconds, too, if that tells you anything:)

After dinner, the husband had the brilliant idea of making chocolate muffins together.  I don’t know where he gets these crazy schemes, but who am I to complain?  We scrounged around for a recipe and came up with one that sounded decent, but required a quick run to the store.  An hour later we were back home, mixing up some chocolatey goodness.

I used to say this to my students all the time last year…but if you haven’t listened to a word I’ve said so far, hear this:  I will be popping in tomorrow to give you the recipe I used for these muffins.  As soon as I do, you will want to drop everything and head for the kitchen.  They really are that good.  Here’s a little sneak peek for you.

He just couldn’t wait one more second:)

I’ll see you guys tomorrow!  Happy (almost) Friday!

Question: Do you take vitamins regularly?  If so, which ones and why do you take them?

*I was given the Vega powder in my HLS swag bag, but have not been compensated in any way for this review.

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a big bowl of mustard

27 Oct

Hi!

I love Wednesday evenings.  Don’t you just love Wednesday evenings?  It’s the first time of the whole week that we’re on the downhill slide to the weekend.

Wednesday night’s also my yoga night.  The 5:30 class that I teach caps off an entire afternoon of tutoring, and honestly tonight I was just so tired all I wanted to do was collapse on the sofa.  But alas, as with most other times I feel that way, yoga is precisely what I need.

This morning I made it to the gym and did a 20 minute run at 6.0 pace and then hit the weights.  I’ve decided I’m going to knock out a short cardio session + weights on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.  Tuesday and Thursday will be just cardio days.  So far I’m liking the schedule…granted today is only Wednesday.

While I’m liking the schedule, I’m not too sure how my muscles feel about it.  So far they won’t stop complaining.  But I know it will get better.  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it 🙂

Anyway, this morning was so busy with random tasks that I didn’t have time to eat breakfast.

Didn’t have time to eat breakfast!

This is not normal (for me).  Or acceptable.

And now it’s 10 pm.  I’ve had dinner.  I’ve had froyo.  I’m still wanting to snack on something.

Rest assured, I’m not hungry.  But you know how they (who is “they” anyway?) say that people who don’t eat breakfast, eat more throughout the day?  I’ve never really given that theory a test run, but after today I totally believe it!  I have no doubt that my urge to keep snacking all night long is correlated to my lack of breakfast this morning.  Especially considering I worked out.

Anyway. Onto more important things. I figure I’ve teased you long enough about this out-of-this-world creamy squash soup, eh?

ooooooh, ahhhhhh.

Looks delicious?!

Or looks like mustard in bowl?

I’ll let you decide.

Outrageously Creamy Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized kabocha squash (Okay, okay, any squash will probably work)
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Directions

  • Cut squash up into wedges and lay on a baking sheet.  Roast at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until a fork pierces it easily.
  • Once squash is tender, allow to cool (or burn yourself if you’re impatient like me) before peeling or cutting skins off.
  • Put squash in a blender or food processor.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.
  • Pour into a saucepan or a microwaveable safe bowl and heat through before serving.

I would also highly suggest holding out a few pieces of roasted squash to snack on while the soup is whirring.  Do it! Do it! Do it!

Hope you guys have had a fantastic start to the week.  Onward to Friday!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway. I’ll love you forever!

P.S.S. I’ve updated some of my tabs at the top, and I’d love for you to check ’em out when you get a chance!

P.S.S.S Are you supposed to add more p’s or more s’s in these kinds of situations?

Do you have a workout routine/schedule that you stick to?  Or do you just wing it?

a special day

25 Oct

Hello!

Today has been a very special day.

This morning when I rolled out of bed, I decided that today would be one of the best days of the year. And it was!  It was!

For starters I booked it to the gym and made a leap towards getting out of my workout rut.  After sadly taking a step back from marathon training, I’ve had a hard time getting back into a groove.  This morning I stopped making excuses and got my be-hind in gear!  Right after popping 3 dried apricots for some energy.

I kicked things off with a 25 minute interval run on the treadmill.  IMO intervals make the time go by so much faster.  Well, that and a killer playlist.  Anyway.  Instead of focusing so much on getting through a 25 minute run, I was able to break it down and focus on getting through each interval. Here it is:

walking warmup
–  2 min. at 6.0
–  1 min. at 6.5
–  1 min. at 7.0
–  1 min. at 7.5
–  2 min. at 6.0
–  1 min. at 6.5
–  1 min. at 7.0
–  1 min. at 7.5
–  1 min. at 6.0
–  1 min. at 6.5
–  1 min. at 7.0
–  1 min. at 6.0
–  1 min. at 6.5
–  1 min. at 7.0
–  1 min. at 6.0
–  1 min. at 6.5
–  1 min. at 7.0
–  1 min. at 7.5
–  walk for 5 min.

Felt so great when it was over.  Exhilarating:)

Next up: the weights.

I’ve been avoiding the iron for months.  But not today.  I started with free weights, working my arms; then moved to machines to work my legs.  And I finished it all off with some serious plank action on the mat.  Serious plank action, I tell ya.  Hardest part of the entire workout.

Once I got home, I refueled with a green smoothie.

1 scoop Vega powder, 1 cup almond milk, 2 handfuls spinach, 1/2 banana, chia seeds and ice

Lunch was leftover vegan spinach enchiladas from last night.  Just as good the second time around.

And then it was off to tutoring!  As you guys know, I adore the students I tutor.  Okay, okay.  Nada sometimes drives me a little batty, but other than that they always bring a smile to my face.   Not only that, but I almost always come away a wiser person.  Here’s what I learned today:

from Hey-Kyoung: Korean people keep two refrigerators.  One for regular food.  And one for kimchi.  An entire fridge for kimchi!  Are you, my fellow nut butter lovers, thinking what I’m thinking? muahahaha.

from Nada: the cookie monster (you know the one – from Sesame Street) no longer eats a lot of cookies apparently.  Have you all heard about this?  Somehow it was decided that he was partially to blame for childhood obesity, so now he eats veggies and says that “cookies are a sometimes food.”  What?!

They never cease to entertain.  My students that is, not Sesame Street.

By the time I got done tutoring it was past 5:30, and I was famished!  I had snacked on a Larabar between meetings, but it was quickly wearing away.  I decided to keep dinner simple and quick.

I chopped up a kabocha squash into thin wedges and then brushed them with coconut oil before putting them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

Next, I drained and rinsed some canned chickpeas, spread them on a cookie sheet and shook cumin, garlic powder and seasoned salt all over them before sticking them in the oven as well for about 15 minutes.

I also cut up one flax protein pita into triangles and baked it for about 10 minutes.

Our oven was full of love tonight! ha.

Everything was going great until I opened our fridge and was attacked by a soy yogurt.

Time to clean out the fridge, folks.

Anyway, dinner came together nicely.  A bit random, but it worked.

spread with a little bit of Earth Balance

I had so much leftover squash tonight that I couldn’t help but come up with a tasty way to use it…well, besides the obvious of slathering it with EB and eating it straight up, but you already knew that.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the creamiest vegan squash soup you’ve ever laid eyes on.

Now that’s special.

G’night!

Did you watch Sesame Street when you were a kid?  What was your favorite childhood TV show?  Mister Rogers? CareBears? My favorite was My Little Pony.  Every day after we took my sister to school, I would run straight to the TV and ask “is it 43 or 34?”  I never could remember which channel, but I had to have my pony fix:)