Day 2

Day 2  (yesterday) started out pretty great, though it was storming  at 5:00 the radar showed a break and I got out for a 3.5 miler.  The skyline was breathtaking and I saved two very small wood frogs from certain death on the road.  Feeling refreshed with a busy day ahead, I was out the door in a flash.  Needless to say my day went to hell in a hand basket.  You know those days when you have  a great plan in place but all of these little things go wrong and then a much bigger one does.  As I drove home I was thinking about pizza (you know because pizza solves everything) and singing at the top of my lungs 😉.  By the time I got home, I was determined to get my P90X3 workout done instead.  Driving has a way of giving you time to put things into perspective rather than acting on a fleeting emotion and later being full of regret or guilt.

The workout was good but tough and a smidge frustrating because I had to modify a lot (the Morton’s neuroma was giving me hell).  Still felt so much better about the day when I as done.

I settled on a super quick meal of Quorn “turkey” burger with a pile of steamed broccoli topped with nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper and a glass of Mutha Pucks (Next Door Brewing pineapple sour).

It’s amazing how singing loud, a tough workout then a small glass of your fave craft beer can level out a stressful day.

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Cheers!

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Day 1

So excited!  Starting P90X3 again.  I made it through 2 rounds of hammer and chisel and being the person I am, got bored so it was time to change it up.  I love Tony Horton’s programs and P90X3 is my fave at this point, so I’m starting new.  This morning I recorded my pre-challenge measurements, took my photos, scheduled my week and meals. Finished day 1 workout, Total Synergistics and boy was it tough!   It occurred to me how important it is to change up your routine.  Everybody is different so I think some people can hang on longer than others before hitting a plateau but I don’t think I’m one of those people.

It felt so good to get a tough, effective workout done in 30 minutes, which is important to me because it’s summer and I still enjoy running, biking and swimming so I don’t want to kill 1hr+ inside working out.

So, I gotta say super pleased with the day and my post workout Shakeology and looking forward to Day 2!

Cheers! 💪

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Form Focus

Back into training this morning after a couple of days recovery post Lake Mills Triathlon. It was a great race, some challenges along the way but in the end I hit a PR and that was my goal, yippee!  I’m pretty excited about my new program; I sat down last weekend and came up with a plan that incorporates Hammer and Chisel strength workouts and triathlon training from the great book I’m reading (The Women’s Guide to Triathlon).  I even got a new training binder 😀  Yes, the crazed organization and tracking habits are in full force!  The thing is, it’s effective.  Something I strive to get across in my challenge groups.  When the information is staring you in the face it’s easier to recognize if something is or isn’t working….and Why.

Being a bit naïve I dove into my new plan the day after the race, Monday.  That was a mistake, so I had to take the next couple of days off.  Always learning something new, next time I will plan a recovery week post race and THEN start new.  I just get so darn excited with momentum building up after an event that I want to start ASAP!  Needless to say, patience and planning is key so the last couple days was spent doing some foam rolling and today, an easy 3.4 miler with 3 x 1:00 AI at Z5 and recovery to Z2 with my heart rate monitor.  My primary focus is form.  I’m not a great runner, I still have a lot to learn to become more efficient which is why I read so much and more importantly, put it into practice.  Today the time flew by as I focused on form: am I looking straight ahead or down near my feet, are my abs in or loose and not supporting my low back, are my arms swinging from the shoulder front-back or across the body, am I striking the ground below my body or heel striking in front of the knee, am I breathing from my diaphragm & belly or upper chest.  To be honest, time flies when you’re focusing on all of that and it feels AMAZING when you get find where you need to be.  It’s like you’re gliding across the terrain, it’s wonderful!  I’ve really been trying to improve my mind-body workouts in more than just yoga practice.  I think it will help reduce the risk of injury.  That being said, still dealing with the neuroma.  Major bummer there, the toes go a bit numb during bike rides and it’s still finicky when I’m running 3+ miles.  Time to reconnect with the orthotics guy.

As it is, it’s also time to get back to work and finish my post workout meal 😉  Protein pumpkin shake, oh yeah.

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Cheers!

Oh my Salad!

Greetings!

Never in a million years did I ever think I would start a blog, and here I am.  It goes to show you how time and experiences change people.  My blog gives me the opportunity to talk about things I love: fitness, FOOD, knitting, outdoors, reading, pets.  I honestly think had I never became a fitness coach, I would never have started a blog.  Coaching inspired me to try new things, create new foods, and dive deeper into hobbies that I currently have.  So, life is pretty sweet!

Speaking of coaching, I am wrapping up a fun Salad Challenge that I had running on FB and wanted to end with a bang.  I saved my fave salad for last, I had previously had cranberry chickpea salad and southwest salad.
Because I’m looking forward to warmer temperatures, running on the trails, fishing and sitting on the back deck listening to golfers holler, I whipped up a modified version of a salad I absolutely enjoy during the warm summer months.  It is a blend of pear, organic mixed greens, a light yet tangy vinaigrette, toasted nuts and I’ve taken it a step further to add a little extra zing to the dressing and some much needed protein.  FYI, when you’re seriously lifting weights, you have to be serious about getting some healthy protein or you’ll crash.  The original recipe came from a Cooking Light seasonal (you know, one of those $10 mini cookbooks you find seasonally in the magazine aisle as you kill time trying to find, oh wait, not really look for, your husband at the grocery store).  Anywho, the recipe totally inspired me, I love fruit and toasted nuts in salads, especially in the summer months.  Toasting nuts brings out the extra flavor of the nut, adds warmth and texture and gives you a dose of healthy fat and a bit of protein.

Just to point out, this was the first time this vegetarian baked tofu!  I KNOW!  I can’t believe it either, and now I can’t wait until tomorrow to bake the next batch for another salad.  It was delish.  I will definitely be experimenting with that some more 😉  As you’ve probably figured out, I like to prep meals and then cook them as I need them (unless they reheat well).  That being said, this is made for 1 person but I know you’re all smart cookies and can add as needed if you’d like to make this for the family.

Tofu-Pear-Walnut Salad.
1/3 pkg extra firm organic non-gmo tofu (pressed)
1 pear, thinly sliced
2 cups roughly chopped organic mixed greens
1-2 Tbl toasted walnuts

Dressing:
1 1/2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp champagne vinegar
1 Tbl minced shallot
~1/2 tsp Dijon or spicy brown mustard
Dash pepper
Dash sea salt
Optional! ~1/4 tsp nutritional yeast

I added the nutritional yeast for funzies and it was delightful.  If it’s not your thing, leave it out.  The dressing is very nice without it.

So, let’s get cookin’!  To prep the tofu, I’ve gotten into the habit of rinsing it with cold water, then pressing.  I sliced the 1/3 into half, lengthwise then placed it between paper towels and put a heavy dish on top for about 15 minutes while the oven preheated to 400F.

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Mix up your dressing by adding all ingredients together and whisking.  Keep in mind that the shallots and seasoning will settle, so give it another whisk before you’re ready to add it to the greens.

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When the oven is ready, slice your tofu into cubes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Pop it in the oven and set the timer for 20, be sure to toss the tofu about halfway through and one extra time if you’d like it to bake evenly.  When the timer goes off, check the tofu, if it’s golden brown and slightly poofy, it’s ready.

In the meantime, add your greens to a bowl and toss with about 1 Tbl vinaigrette.
Place your pear slices around the periphery of the plate (because it’s pretty and who doesn’t like to eat well-presented food).  Add your tossed greens to the center.

Toast those walnuts!  Place walnuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in a toaster oven (if you don’t have one, pop them in with the tofu).  The walnuts will only take a few minutes, so keep an eye.  I toss them after about 90 seconds, when they are fragrant, pull them or they will burn and nobody wants burned nuts!  Add the nuts to the salad.

When the tofu is ready, add it to your salad and grab yourself a beverage.  I was enjoying this for lunch, so pineapple-coconut sparkling water paired well.  I imagine that a nice Pinot Grigio would also pair well (ahem, I’m just kidding, I know it pairs well).  Enjoy!  This is a lovely vegetarian salad packed with healthy protein and fat.

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I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  If you do any modifications, please share!

Cheers.

P.S. My loveable rottie, The Mollinator, is woofing in her sleep at my side… 🙂  there’s a cute, happy thought for ya.

Challenges

Hello all,
Here I am, continuing to do research on Morton’s Neuroma because I seriously can’t stand having crunchy toe while I walk, workout, go down stairs, etc.  I also have another week to go before I see the doc again.  In the meantime I thought it would be beneficial to upgrade my workout shoes.  Before my issue, I enjoyed cross training in barefoot-style shoes (like Merrell’s).  After nearly an hour I discovered that New Balance shoes are supposed to support the foot in the metatarsal region to help reduce symptoms.  It was a well spent hour, in addition to meal planning (YAY), investigating new blogs and recipes (double YAY) and checking in with my Challengers (mega YAY!) who are rockin’ it by-the-way. 😀

So, Sunday I set off on an adventure before dreaded chores, why not go shopping for shoes (duh) before having to do boatloads of laundry and clean the house.  I discovered and tried on a few pairs of New Balance shoes, one of which allowed me to walk without any crunching….HAPPY DAY!  and they were on sale…extra happy dance! 🙂  and that was the highlight of the adventure…grocery shopping doesn’t count.  Especially when it’s packed and for some reason people lose complete respect for others at the grocery store.  They act as though they are the only ones on earth…hmm.

The new shoes are MUCH better.  However, still having some issues when flexing the toes in a lunge, but I can hop around a bit more which makes for a very happy Becky.

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I was able to do Hammer Power (totally kicked my ass) with minimal pain.  Post workout was extra exciting because I made a brand spanky new recipe of Shakeology, inspired by Tony Horton.  It’s a Caramel Mocha Latte and it was Amazing!  That, some ice on the foot and a crochet project on my lap kicked off a much needed relaxing afternoon.

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And not to keep you hanging, here’s the recipe:

Caramel Mocha Shakeo (I cut back on almond milk to stick to my carb needs)
1/2 scoop chocolate vegan Shakeo
1/2 scoop NEW café latte Shakeo
1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1/2-1tsp caramel extract
12oz water
http://www.shakeology.com/en_US/?sn=becky20

Blend well and enjoy!  It’s a coffee you can feel good about, you’re getting mega nutrition.  Honestly, I’ve been drinking it for a few days now and it has helped curb my coffee cravings.  Yes, I cut back to decaf (mostly) but it’s still much healthier to have a nutrient dense meal than an espresso with steamed almond milk 😉

Cheers!

Phun Pho

I have had the biggest craving for Thai, Chinese and Pho.  I am also not super stellar at making certain Thai Food (do NOT get me started on Pad Thai.  As much as I LOVE it, I can’t make it to save my ass).  Anywho, my January health and fitness challenge also started recently which always inspires me to play with food.  I know it sound silly but yes, I play with food and work with recipes.  I’ve learned that most people struggle with nutrition.  Whether it’s how many macros they need, how to plan and prepare food, time constraints, cooking for the rest of the family that might not eat the same food…and on and on.  I like to have options.  I’m a vegetarian so most of the goodies I play with are vegetarian…if you’re a meat eater and stumble on my blog I’m not going to bitch if you substitute delicious vegetarian protein for meaty stuff.  It is what it is, my hubby is a meat eater to the T and he’s not about to change nor will I try to change him.  He’s also not a very adventurous eater, so most of the stuff I cook is for me only, tee hee.  It does boost my confidence when he says how good it smells (who doesn’t like a compliment every now and then?).

Needless to say I wanted Pho…and wontons…and spice.  So, I looked into a really cool cookbook that I received as a gift years ago (The Essential Asian Cookbook) and cooked up some Becky-style Phun Pho.  I personally like beansprouts in my pho, I totally forgot cilantro (nobody’s perfect), lime, sriracha and green onion.  The pho makes about 3 vegan servings, but keep in mind it makes extra wontons which I ended up baking the next day as a snack (BONUS!).  I did calculate some nutritional facts for ya which I’ll include at the end.

Phun Pho
servings: ~3

Ingredients:
4 cups Pho soup base
Wonton wrappers
4oz Seitan
4oz Shitake mushrooms
2 Tbl minced Chestnuts
1 tbl Soy sauce
1 tsp Sesame oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Bean sprouts
Sriracha
2 finely chopped green onions, save some for garnish
Lime
Cilantro

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Place seitan in a bowl, crumble.  Mix in the mushrooms, chestnuts, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and green onion.

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Work with 1 won ton wrapper at at time, be sure to keep the rest under a damp cloth to keep from drying out.  Swipe a bit of water onto edges of won ton wrapper.  Place about 1 tsp of mixture onto center, fold in half and lightly smoosh out air while pinching edges to seal.  I’m a won ton virgin, so it took awhile to get the hang of working with these little buggers.  If you don’t smoosh out the air, they may “take on water” in the soup and sink like a capsized boat…just sayin’.  You will see some of my sinkers in the photo below.

Lightly wet edges and fold over to make a little purse.  Continue making won tons until you have 12 (if you follow the nutrition guide I calculate for 4 per serving).

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Heat the pho soup base over med-low.  Heat another pot of water to a rapid boil, add the won tons and boil about 4 minutes.  Scoop out with a slotted spoon and add to warming broth.

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Make a bowl with about 4 won tons, garnish with about 1 cup of rinsed bean sprouts, fresh cilantro, lime and sriracha.

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Nutrition Facts:
4 won tons with broth, 1 cup bean sprouts, 1/4 lime, sriracha and cilantro (optional)

Calories: 224
Carb: 30g
Fat: 5g
Protein: 18g

Enjoy!  If you make any modifications, please share!  I’m a pho and won ton beginner 😀

Cheers!

 

Goals

It’s Tuesday!  I’m talking about goals because I’m currently tracking my weekly goals.

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How many of you make long term and short term goals?  Has anybody reverse engineered those goals to decide of they are right for you and how to make them happen?  Goals provide motivation and a way to make a plan of action to achieve great things in all areas of your life.  I’ll be talking about goals in my upcoming health and fitness workshop starting September 14th.  If you’d like more info, please comment below!