sweating the home workout

29 Fri, 2010 § 4 Comments

I am in love with Tea`d Oats

& this combination is my favorite so far.

Ambrosia Plum [from zhena’s gypsy tea] with cranberries, almond butter & hemp seeds.

The subtly sweet & flowery strawberry leaves, rose pedals & plum of the tea is nicely contrasted with the ever-so-tart,  apple-sweetened cranberries.

I made it just like my [honeybush]brewed blueberry oats here, which I forgot to mention that I added 1T ground flaxseed toward the end of cooking the oats.

My next bowl will likely be “brewed” in a nice gingerbread rooibos…I wish I hadn’t just finished off the rest of my dried figs today

~

Different Breakfasts: Fun!  Different Lifestyle: FUN!  Different Workouts: fun?

I am missing my gym in SLC.  Formerly a hater of weight training, now I am devoted…& without my quad press, rowing machine, vast selection of dumbbells & other various gym assets that were once taken for granted. 😦

Now, I am trying to find the right workout combinations & exercises I can do at home for similar “weight-resistant” results.  I love Tabata-style HIIT [high intensity interval training] centered around bodyweight exercises [like burpees, mt climbers, etc].  Holly talks about HIIT & its benefits here, which I can absolutely vouch as being right on; but I have found if I only do these, I sort of plateau in strength & definition.

Typically my upper limb day at the gym was a predictable makeup of curls, extensions & focus on rotator cuff & deltoid muscles.

I feel good about the at-home upper limb workout adaption I did Tuesday & am confident I can continue variations on this with good results.

[You can find my daily workouts on “the way she moves” page.]

  1. “super set” 3×10
  2. Infra Ext. Rotation with resistance band
  3. Supra Abduction [side extention] with resistance band
  1. Bicep Curl with resistance band 3×10
  2. Chin Ups 3×10
  1. Tricep Plank ~51 seconds
  2. Tricep Push Ups 3×10
  3. Skull Crushers 10# 3×10
  1. Core “super set” 3x
  2. Laying Leg Lifts with 8# medicine ball x10
  3. Reverse Crunch & Butt Lift x15
  1. “super set” 3×10
  2. Tin Cans 5#
  3. Anterior Delt. Internal Rotations 2#

I am worried about my lower limb workout though [as well as rhomboids & chest] & already feel I am losing definition.

My back should be fine with all the pull ups & climbing I am doing right now.  Dave had a couple ideas for chest, plus I do a lot of push ups.  Hamstrings I can stress enough with yoga ball curls & one-legged squats…I can probably figure something out for calve lifts…but my quads sure miss the press machine at the gym.  I am just not sure how I am going to stress them enough with resistance.

Biking more is the first thing that comes to mind.  Since I am not currently bike-commuting [like I was in SLC], my pedal time can be fun time & training time again rather than just travel time.  I just need to find some nice, sustained climbs to get the burn going.

Yesterday morning, Dave & I found some fun “roller coaster” hills.  They were short though & needed a second lap to really feel the burn. The first time through & back, I geared down & kept the revolutions smooth & quick.  The second time, I kept it in high gears & pushed through standing climbs, still keeping it smooth but wanting to power through.

I think if I find some nice long climbs, I will gain that definition back & build strength in my legs again.  I would like to aim at cycling ~2 – 3 Xs a week.  DB[dumbbell] Swings are another good full-body exercise that really engage the quads.  I also have a couple resistance bands I can incorporate into exercises, & there is a YMCA in town [~20mi away] we can drop in for a day pass occasionally.

Any advice or tips [quads, chest, rhomboids especially] would really be appreciated!

~

After biking, I had a strange craving.  This may sound weird & reminiscent of a “Janetha combination” — which I totally get by the way — but it was so good & just what my body wanted.

Buttery Pinto Beans & Basil Cottage Cheese Open-Face

You know I generally stick to plant-based eating, but I have been having cottage cheese cravings this week & am a fan of listening to my body.  Cottage cheese & greek yogurt usually sit better with me than other dairy — it must be the probiotics that aid in digestion — so we will just have to see what happens.

I heated & mashed leftover pinto beans with earth balance & spread it over a toasted Ezekiel english muffin.  Stirring together basil & cottage cheese, I topped that over the beans & added a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper.

~

As anyone tried the tea`d oats yet?  Any fantastic combination I should try next?

What are your favorite at home workouts?  Any tips on how I can get more “weight-resistance” type workouts [ie muscle building] in with limited weights?

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Surprise, Surprise

27 Wed, 2010 § 12 Comments

Yesterday I was thrilled & shocked to be announced as the winner of the 1st Challenge of Project Tasteless: Naked Chef

…especially after losing it over the witty Bareass Contessa, drooling over Carolyn’s swirls [how did she do that so beautifully?!] & the “world’s best cookies” [her jogger/minimalist style matches my own when not “baring all”], totally getting Dori’s “weird” combination & adoring her coy seductiveness & developing a secret not-so-secret blog crush [I think it was the boots — & the pretty L.rolls — what can I say? she’s “classy” & sexy].

As if you could ever say no to homemade Crab Mac & Cheese, especially in this slutty 😉 saucy get-up, red heels & all!, sexy pancakes in bed [heels included?] or comfort food from a “domestic goddess”

& if you “wanted” to participate & used the but-I-don’t-have-an-apron-excuse, you’ve just been owned by this truly skilled [with a cookie sheet] truly naked chef & this “saucey whore” [I had such a difficult time typing that].

From cleverly hijacking a parent’s kitchen to salvaging cupcakes in this too-cute-to-be-an-apron apron to “taking it off” for pumpkin manicotti to cute & saucy Eunice & her Purivian Ceviche [mmm, it’s been so too long since I had tilapia], ALL of the entries were FANTASTIC.

You’ll really want to check out ALL of the participants — & check them out you will. 😉

~

Starting off on a high note, the day could only stay there.

After intense bouldering near Prescott, coming home — famished — to homemade ravioli a la Christine was to die for & just the [re]fuel our bodies needed.

An expert at cooking mushrooms, her three-mushroom blend of shiitake, button & baby ports in white wine reduction was perfection: soft, yet with substance & no where near the realm of rubbery — it was better than many mushroom dishes I have had at restaurants.

Combined with Vegan Dad’s Tofu Ricotta, the filling was delicious & offered the perfect combination of textures to the pasta.

Impressed by Christine’s ravioli making skills?

I am.

& it’s the first time she has made pasta, if you can believe it — & she decided to go with ravioli!  Props to Christine.

Add a little sauteed garlic & wilted chard

& we enjoyed a well-rounded, hearty & nourishing meal.

Don’t forget the Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce.

Another Vegan Dad winner [she used earth balance instead of margarine]; this is an amazing base need not stay with pasta only: an adventurous pizza anyone? how about a fun enchilada sauce?

It was delicious & the roasted peppers were distinct, but it needed just a little something…

After tweaking it a bit over the stove after dinner…adding a touch of sea salt, 1 – 2 tsp red pepper flakes, a dash of mirin cooking wine & some oregano [I actually used a pasta toss blend with oregano, basil, sun-dried tomatoes & garlic, but think simply oregano would do the trick] it had a much fuller bodied flavor.

~

Have you ever made homemade pasta?

I find it a bit intimidating & cumbersome [& we don’t have pasta all that often], but this was definitely well worth Christine’s hard work. 😉

a.Sliver

26 Tue, 2010 § 9 Comments

Quaint boutiques & shops; cozy, local cafes & restaurants; & trendy outdoor gear stops inhabit the narrow streets of downtown Flagstaff.

Our first impression:

Local.Homey.Eclectic

It feels like a “young” town

with spirit.

Granted we only experienced a slice of this city & there is still much more to see, but we like it.  The sparse traffic & obvious bike lanes make for a friendlier pedal commute & everyone seems to love dogs [it could just be Eisley — she’s pretty lovable — I think I will make a lot of friends with her help ;)].

No city is perfect, but it is nice to see a community that is leaning toward eco-friendly practices rather than moving away from it…

& musicians whose songs warm the chilly October air — I love this.

I am definitely not above stalking out the lovely violinist serenading one of the corners of San Fransisco Street. 😉

The only time during the day we sort of raised our eyebrows & 😦 :

The indoor climbing gym, which looks just ok [the bouldering section is small], is $$$.  Day pass = $16 & it will cost Dave & I $200 just to get a membership — that does not include the membership fee each month!

Good thing the outdoor bouldering ROCKS.  We only touched the boulders in one area on Saturday at Priest Draw, & even though my tummy & core did not feel that great, I connected with the style.  We played on a beautiful, horizontal roof, & I am anxious to go back.  I was more concerned with having spotters than photographers, but I cannot wait to show you bouldering photos — soon!

So why did we leave our jobs in Utah & move to Arizona?    What made us leap without much of a safety net?

We wanted a fresh start in a new area where we could embrace our passions.  We are not interested in “waiting” to live, working 20+ years, banking on retirement to finally have “the time” & a chance to live like we have always envisioned.  One of those visions is traveling & experiencing new places, even if it means living simply.

Simple & happy — that is our intention.  We are figuring out the basic needs & luxuries we cannot live without & those we can.  We are embracing life & the aspects that truly enhance the experience rather than distract from it.

How often do you find yourself looking forward to the weekend?  Tired of yearning for the weekend to come & watching the weeks fly by [is it October already?], we changed our perspective & actions to look forward to each day.

Life is Now.

~

Have you ever made a drastic life change you knew would bring you happiness even if it seemed “risky” in the conventional sense?

Meal Planning over Tea`d Oats

25 Mon, 2010 § 9 Comments

Scouring the pantry, scrutinizing fruit & vegetables & eying Christine’s garden.

This is how I began “meal planning” for the week.  What do we have that needs to be used before it goes bad?  [I hate wasting food.]  What else do we have on hand that could be used?

Need To Use:

  • bell peppers! [from my mom’s garden]
  • pumpkin puree
  • whole spaghetti squash
  • pealed, raw butternut squash section [I cut & froze this over the weekend because I was afraid we would not use it in time.]

Could Use:

  • artichoke hearts, canned
  • fava beans, canned
  • bulk beans & lentils [dried]
  • greens from the garden
  • carrots from the garden
  • garlic
  • onions

As I am brainstorming & coming across recipes I would like to make, I also ask the “household” if there is anything specific they would like [or like to make] this week — which is World Go Vegan Week by the way.

Christine wants to make homemade pasta this week.

Dave would like sausage [not “vegan” I’m sure ;)].

Then using my “menu”, I start to write in meals for the week, keeping foods, sauces, etc in mind that could be used in multiples meals.  Examples: 1. last week I made Angela’s amazing Lentil-Walnut Burgers [a favorite!] to have with dinner salads as well as with fruit [or squash] & nut butter for breakfast.  2. I also cooked plenty of chickpeas for Braised Lebanese Eggplant & had extra legumes for topping salads & roasting as climbing snacks.  3. The rest of the pumpkin puree from Friday’s crepes will be used in my favorite pizza dough this week.  4. Leftover Lover“, Janetha, is super creative with her leftovers if you want some great ideas.

Dissecting my menu.

The top section is for dinner.

The next space is reserved for notes for the day [like “make pizza dough”, “cook beans”, “Christine to the airport”].

The lines are for ingredients that we need for a meal or the day but do not have, a.k.a., grocery shopping list.

The last space is for lunches & snacks throughout the day.

Here are the dinner “plans” this week.

Sunday: Pesto Quinoa-Millet Stuffed Peppers [tasty, especially topped w/melted “cheese”.]

Monday:   Grilled Artichoke Hearts & Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Sauce & Fava Beans

Tuesday:   “Pasta Night” a la Christine: Mushroom & Tofu-Ricotta Ravioli with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce & Wilted Chard.  [I can’t wait!]

Wednesday:   [Veg]Sausages & Roasted Winter Vegetables

Thursday:  Christine –> Airport  .  Dinner out in Phoenix with Dave.

Friday:   Butternut Squash & Cashew Cheese Pizza

Saturday:

I do not stress if a day is left open — you have to leave room for life to happen — in case something comes up like an invite out or being at the crag until after dark or coming across a recipe you just have to make NOW.  Don’t stress if you have to bump a meal to a following day in the week for some reason.  By Saturday, my once pressed & dressed menu looks like a spider web of arrows & markings.  Oh, & cross off meals as you make them; there is something oh.so.satisfying about crossing items off a list! 😉

Lunch planning is less structured, but I still have to be conscientious of it or I could easily eat nut butter & Ezekiel cereal all day…oops.  Dave & I generally eat quite differently for lunch, which was never a problem when he was at the office.  Now that we are both home during the day, we are figuring out how to coordinate day meals.  I also eat 5 – 6 small meals during the day [centered around fruit & veggies], rather than 3 substantial ones, which is Dave’s style.  Currently, we simply decide on a few things to have around for lunches & snacks [& breakfasts]…like salad & sandwich fixings, fruit, baked tofu, hummus, lentils…this week…& figure on creatively [& sometimes not-so-creatively] consuming some dinner leftovers.  One afternoon this week, we are making vegan super nachos…oh yeah. 🙂

The grocery shopping list:

  • mushrooms
  • sweet potatoes
  • baby spinach
  • seasonal fruit
  • “sprouted” tofu [for ricotta]
  • “sprouted” baked tofu
  • cashews
  • Daiya “cheese”

Pretty short this week, which is good because my cart always seems to fill with more than I had intended — especially when Mr. Impulse[shopper] accompanies me.  😉

I generally try to limit paper waste, but with some things, it just helps for me to have it down on paper.  At least I double print, flip chart-style for easy flippage, & use recycled paper when I can get my hands on it.

Here is a pdf of my blank menu.  Simply click on “menu” below, print, write in the month at the top as well as the dates that coordinate to the day of the week & begin planning a delicious week!

Menu

~

As I was attempting to articulate my meal planning process, I wanted something warm for breakfast.  It is cold today.  Oats might do…but not just any old boring oats.

[Honeybush]Brewed Blueberry Oatmeal

I had thought to infuse rice with tea but somehow completely brushed past the brilliance of cooking oatmeal with it.  Thank you Ashley for realizing tea is for more than just sipping on these cool mornings.

My tea of choice this morning:
NUMI Organic Bushmen’s Brew Honeybush
[adapted from Ashley’s Tea-Riffic Oats]
  • 1 C of a favorite tea, brewed according to directions
  • ½ C Oats
  • dash of salt
[For creamy oats], combine oats, tea & salt together.
Bring to a boil & simmer according to oat’s directions.
  • ½ C Blueberries
  • ½ T Chia seeds
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan , heat blueberries over low heat — stirring often — until they start to get “gooey”.
Mash with a fork until chunky & jam-like.
Stir in Chia seeds.
Continue cooking over low heat until thickened (~3 minutes).
When your oats have finished cooking, stir in ¼ C Almond Milk until well combined.
Combine the oats & blueberries in one of the pans.
Cook for a couple minutes.
Pour into a bowl.
Top with 1 – 2 tablespoons of your favorite Nut Butter [today was Almond].
Sprinkle with Hemp Seeds for additional protein power!
I was not sure if I would be able to taste the tea, but the sweet honey overtones of the antioxidant & mineral-rich Honeybush tasted beautiful with the blueberries.
~
How do you plan your meals for the week?  Do you plan?
What is your comforting, warm breakfast drink of choice?  Are you a tea or coffee sipper?

Undressed

22 Fri, 2010 § 22 Comments

Food Photography is my sweet spot; it’s not what gets Dave off.  He is a different breed of photographer, gifted at capturing moments when people let their guards down — when they are raw & exposed.

If I wanted his photographic skills in the kitchen, I might need to use other means to lure him in…

how about

A.Three.Way

& a bit of undressing.

Growing up, the crepes we begged my mom to make often were deemed danish pancakes with batter so laden in butter they were tinted yellow.

oh.yes

we savored inhaled these.

Could I make a healthier version without all of the eggs & butter?

Could I “undress” the traditional crepe, break down the components & recreate a vegan variation?

There are several vegan versions out there, but I wanted a bit more autumn flair.  Pumpkin puree enhances my favorite pizza dough; could one of these beauties moisten my crepes?

Rachel had persuaded me to bare [nearly]all — wearing only an apron — while cooking.

With my inhibitions already lowered, there was no sense in holding back on a recipe that might surely fail.

I slipped on my apron [& house slippers] while Dave grabbed the space heater in an attempt to ward off the obvious October chill that filled the kitchen.  I also thought it a good idea to throw a little warming ginger into the mix.

Pumpkin Crepes

makes 8-10

6-inch crepes

  • ¾ C Spelt [all-purpose flour will yield lighter crepes; I just don’t digest it as well, so I usually stick to spelt]
  • ¼ C Chickpea Flour
  • dash Salt
  • 1 T Arrowroot
  • 1-2 tsp powdered Ginger

Combine.

  • 1 C Almond Milk
  • ¼ C Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 T Maple Syrup

Whisk into dry ingredients until smooth.

Chill in the refrigerator at least one hour.

Most suggest heating the pan over med-high heat, but I found using a lower heat allowed me to spread the batter more evenly before it started cooking to the pan.

The pan is ready when a few flicked drops of water sizzle upon contact.

Spray the pan with cooking spray or rub the end of an EB stick across the pan [my preferred method].

Pour batter into the center [maybe 1/3 C?? I just eye it — you’ll figure it out after a couple! ;)] & holding the pan firmly by the handle, use your wrist to tilt the pan in a circular motion, spreading the batter in a thin layer across the bottom.

Cook until the top of the crepe is dry, the center bubbly & the edges appear firm & lightly browned when lifted with a spatula, ~1 – 2 minutes.

Gently run the spatula under the crepe to loosen it, then flip to the other side ~30 seconds – 1 minute.

Slide it onto a plate, loosely cover with foil & place in the oven on warm.

Continue cooking until you have a nice stack of crepes to “dress”.  [These also keep well wrapped in plastic in the fridge for later consumption ;)]

~

Though I used only a small portion of chickpea flour, it was quite distinct.  I love it in my favorite pie crust, but I will probably leave it out of future crepes.  Do not expect to taste a lot of pumpkin either — you are not meant to — that is one of the great things about pumpkin-infused dough: it offers moisture without leaving more than a trace of its flavor.  If you want that “pumpkin” kick, try adding pumpkin spice to the mix.

These were not as delicate as traditional crepes, but tasty none-the-less, & we just couldn’t leave them naked.

do you like it slow & sultry?

prefer a sweet tease?

perhaps pure temptation?

Even if you simply stick with your favorite tried & true crepe recipe, you must treat yourself to one [or all] of these enticements.

~

sexy.lady

I know just what to do with you. 😉

Rum-Kissed Caramelized Pear

adapted from here

  • Pear
  • slice of lemon

Peel, core & half the pear.

Rub the entire surface with the lemon slice.

  • ½ T Earth Balance Butter

Melt in a pot over med-low heat.

  • 1 T Brown Rice Syrup
  • 1/8 tsp All Spice

Add & stir.

  • 2 T Apple Juice

Stir in.

Place pear halves in the pot, flat-side down.

Lower heat & simmer 15 minutes.

Flip pears round-side down for 10 minutes longer.

Remove pears & slice.

  • ½ T Dark Rum

Stir into pot & simmer 1 minute.

Remove from heat & return pear slices, carefully coating with syrup.

Dress crepe with ~3 pear slices & drizzle with syrup.

Garnish with toasted walnuts.

AMAZING

Not overly sweet, the all spice jazzes up the pear simply.  The rum is subtle — & while you could make it without — I am going to deem it crucial.  I just may finish this sauce off over ice cream.

yes.

I definitely need to get my hands on some coconut ice cream.

~

Maple-Infused Red Bean Paste

Cook ½ Cup Adzuki beans.

Drain.

Mash or process.

[to create a smoother paste, press cooked beans through a mesh strainer, leaving the skins behind]

Heat the mashed beans in a pot over med-low heat with ¼ C Maple Syrup, stirring often, until thick & glossy.

Slather over crepe & sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

You know how black stilettos are usually sexier than white heels?  That’s how I feel about these sesame seeds.  Alas, I only had light ones.

This protein-packed crepe is delectable & so much sweeter than everyone expects.

This was my first time with red bean paste [a star in many Asian desserts], & I just may be infatuated.  I am not ashamed to say I ate it straight from the pot with a spoon.  Add a splash of rice milk…mmm…I might be unavailable for the rest of the afternoon.  😉

~

Spinach & Chevre Temptation

Nothing too fancy here, but the quality of the ingredients is what makes this oh.so.tempting.  A nice goat cheese, like Four Pepper Montchevre, makes an ideal center fold.  We simply sauteed baby spinach in EVOO until just wilted to complement the sexy chevre.

Bon Appetite

~

Ever cooked “naked”? 😉

Love My Body

21 Thu, 2010 § 6 Comments

Yesterday was National Love Your Body Day [there is a “national” day for everything, isn’t there?].

I have been thinking about my body all day.

I love my body.

I still struggle with body image just like anybody else — some days more so than others — but why would I ever want to do anything unkind to my body which is so incredible?

~

I love my smile & how my whole body feels when I laugh.

I love how my eyes can sparkle — how do I make that happen more often? 😉

I love my scars — they are proof that I have lived.

My body is strong & capable of taking me to amazing & beautiful places.

My body went from not being able to pull myself up the easiest climbs to projecting difficult slabs.

My body’s intuition is amazing — it always whispers when something is not quite right — I just have to listen.

My body is amazing at healing itself when sick or injured & works its hardest when I am not — when I am sleeping!

My body adapts to whatever I throw at it.

My body is so much stronger than I think it is — it always pushes out one more rep or one more move or one more mile when I think I am spent.

I feel my body’s love, even if I have not always loved it.

~

Tell me why you love your body!

I Found One

20 Wed, 2010 § 4 Comments

Annoyed by the deceptiveness of the name of our current street — Quailview Loop — I was convinced there were no quail here

until tonight 🙂

Happiest moment all day.

It didn’t even matter that dinner would be served late & not exactly what I had planned.

I have little bopping quail to humor my walks again.

~

I hope you found something beautiful today as well

or at least something delicious 😉

Braised Lebanese Eggplant with Chickpeas

Adapted from a recipe in Fitness Magazine

6 servings

  • 2 T EVOO

Heat in a dutch oven or large pot or deep pan over med-high heat.

  • 1 large Onion, diced

Add & saute ~7 minutes, until soft.

  • 1 large Eggplant or 6 small, cut into 2-inch pieces

Stir in.
Cook 5 minutes, until Eggplant begins to brown.

  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp ground All Spice
  • ¼ tsp ground Cumin
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce
  • dash of dried Basil &/or a Bay Leaf
  • 1 T Red Wine

Stir in & bring to a simmer.

Reduce heat to medium & simmer 5 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Stir in:

  • 2/3 C Water
  • 2 C cooked Chickpeas
  • S&P

Transfer to a slow cooker on low for 2-4 hours until the eggplant is tender.

[you can also transfer it to a preheated 325*F oven for 45-50 minutes, covered, if using a dutch oven.]

Years ago, this was one of my first experiences with eggplant, & I absolutely fell in love.  It just sort of falls apart in your mouth…marrying with the all spice perfectly.

It was meant to be served in grilled spaghetti squash bowls…but alas, due to an empty propane tank & a little misunderstanding, we will just have to dress our bowls up with something else tomorrow.

~

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