Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weekend Roundup Oct 20

This past weekend was pretty low-key.

Saturday we went out on our bikes and rode about 53 miles around the East Bay, like this:

I love the Oakland/Berkeley hills for the views and the hill climbs!

Post-ride recovery meal:

Omelette with leftover roasted butternut squash. I was super hungry after the long ride so that's 4 egg whites and 1 whole egg.

After the ride, I was lucky enough to get a follow-up massage to keep working on my back and shoulders. Felt really good, but also made me completely unmotivated to get anything done, so Saturday was definitely a fun/lazy day. For dinner we just had leftovers--chicken, wheat berry salad, green salad.

Sunday we got a ton of chores done. Adam cleaned out the gutters on our house, and just in time because it started to rain that night! And for dinner we ended up going to my parents' house and having dinner at them. As always a fun evening. My dad grilled chicken, my mom made some cauliflower and I made some green beans.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Last Week Wrap-Up and Meals + Workouts Week of Oct 22

This past week was SUPER busy! My work is so crazy and we had stuff going on after work too...it just flew by.

My plan for this past week is located here with links to the recipes. Even with the busy, we still managed to make everything on the mealplan!

Three pictures above: wheat berries; one dinner including sesame soy broccoli, wheat berry salad, and chicken sausage; and the leftover broccoli and wheat berry salad making a lunch appearance. 

The apple stuffed chicken breasts were awesome. Adam made them and they lasted for lunches and dinners for a good part of the week. We made brown rice (cooked in low sodium broth) and salad to go with them. The beet fries, wheat berry salad, sesame soy broccoli, and chicken sausage were all great (I will definitely make the broccoli again!). I also marinated and we grilled a london broil steak. We sliced it thinly and had it with salad.

Friday night we had friends over and because I had to work overtime and then got stuck in traffic, Adam cooked an amazing dinner for everyone! He made lemon roasted chicken and roasted butternut squash (used walnuts instead of pine nuts) and I threw together a salad. Our friends brought wine and ice cream and I quickly made some brownies. It was super fun! Of course I was enjoying myself so much I never took a picture....

Exercise-wise, the week ended up looking like:
Usual early morning workout/run with the dogs everyday
Monday-Grocery shopping
Tuesday-After work meeting
Wednesday-Plyometrics P90X workout
Thursday-Shoulders and Arms + Abs P90X workout
Friday-Friends over!

Would have liked to get another longer run in there but it just didn't happen.


This coming week I expect more of the same insanity, possibly even worse.

Meals I plan to cook during the week:
Spaghetti squash with meat sauce
Mexican meat and bean "slop" (sounds to delicious!) with salsa and avocado*
Omelettes made by Adam**

We'll have more to eat after some weekend cooking as well (that will be in the Weekend Roundup I'll post on Monday).

I'm keeping it realistic--nothing too fancy or time-consuming.

As for workouts:
Two nights of cardio and one night of weights
One or two nights with abs

Monday: Grocery shopping and cooking
Tuesday: Legs and Back P90X + Abs
Wednesday: Kenpo P90X
Thursday: Run with the dogs--aim for just 4 miles
Friday: Finish up chores!

*"Slop" is something my husband loves, and while it's not very appetizing sounding, it is really good. It's just cooked ground beef or turkey, salsa, beans (either fat free refried or whole black/pinto). It's good with tortillas, tortilla chips, or just as a main dish served with green salad and avocado.

**My husband loves to make omelettes ever since we watched the Julia Child episode where she makes approximately 50 omelettes during the show, each time using about 2 tablespoons butter. It was mindblowing, the amount of butter she used! We make them using her method but with the pan sprayed with canola oil spray instead.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Round Up Oct 13

This past week was sooo busy I forgot to post anything during the week! Here is the Weekend Roundup from last week.......

This weekend was another spent at home. This summer we traveled every other weekend with regularity, but lately we've been staying home more. I actually don't mind; I am liking the breaks on the weekends since work has been so busy.

On Saturday I went for a 4 mile run with the dogs and then Adam and I did the Legs and Back P90X video. We hadn't done that one in a while because I'd been having knee troubles, but it was actually totally fine. I thought that video had more jumping but it was mostly a lot of lunges which were no problem. At noon I went to get a massage because my back and neck were hurting so badly...it was amazing! I will be doing that again soon. That afternoon I cleaned house and then we went to my parents' for dinner which was fun. My mom made an amazing baked pasta dish with ground beef (we never cook pasta at home so it was a total treat) and they even had mint cookie ice cream on hand for dessert!

Sunday Adam and I were both sooooore from the legs workout! Ouch. We went on an easy 4 mile run with the dogs, and then did the Chest and Back P90X video and the Ab video. We shortened both a bit so the whole thing took about an hour. I think the lunges in Sunday's workout also worked our abs...we were were dying during the core portion of the workout.

For lunch we made cream cheese salmon spread and ate it with veggies and Wasa crackers. The salmon spread was just made up as we went and included low fat cream cheese, greek yogurt, canned salmon (from Costco, I really like it on salads or with steamed veggies), dry onion, lemon, salt and pepper.

I had my cracker with salmon spread and pickle relish on it. (I am a pickle lover.)
Sunday afternoon we did some reading, I mowed the lawn, and talked about our plans for next weekend (yeah we plan ahead occasionally!). We have been talking a lot about eating better quality food (not the as-cheap-as-possible bonus pack of chicken breasts..), so we decided to go check out two different butcher shops in Berkeley. We went to the Rockridge Market and to Ver Brugge, a meat, fish and poultry market. We bought some chicken breasts and chicken sausage from Ver Brugge. We also walked up College Ave to Ici, a local shop that has interesting flavors of delicious ice cream, but there was a long slow moving line so we decided to skip that.

Rockridge Market
On the way home we stopped to get ginger beer...my most favorite non-water drink (currently).
The best one I've had so far is Fentiman's...sooo spicy!! The best. Plus there's a dog on their label.

For dinner Adam made apple stuffed chicken breasts. They were so good! We used sherry instead of white wine and parmesan instead of cheddar because that's what we had on hand. I made a quick green salad, baked acorn squash, and used our rice cooker to make brown rice cooked in chicken broth. It was a very good dinner, and we have enough chicken for three more meals for both of us (leftover rice and squash too).

Leftovers packaged up for Monday lunch. Chicken, squash, rice and sauce. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Last Week Wrap Up and Meals + Workouts Week of Oct 15

Well, we did pretty well last week with our workouts and meals.

I did make the meatballs, butternut squash soup, and grilled chicken. I still never made the black bean cakes! The soup was really good and great with the chicken. The meatballs were also very tasty, but we thought they had too much onion so next time I'll probably half the onion. We ate the meatballs with salads.

Salad prep Monday night.
The week ended up looking like what I planned exercise-wise.

Everyday before work: Run 2+ miles with the dogs plus "extra" exercises as referenced in previous posts.
Monday: Grocery shop and cook
Tuesday: Back and Biceps P90X + Abs
Wednesday: Cardio X P90X video
Thursday: Run - I got 4 miles in with the dogs. Not much but better than nothing!
Friday: Relax

Other that eating and exercising, I had a busy week because my coworker was out of town and I was manning the office solo (which I don't mind but I'll be glad to have her back!). That lead to less time in the evenings (got home late) but I still managed to work out--I needed it because I was sitting all day long and my back was really hurting by Friday.

I know lots of folks say you shouldn't treat yourself with food...but I do it anyway. After my long/rough week I got myself a hot chocolate and a chocolate croissant from Panera on the way home. TOTALLY WORTH EVERY CALORIE. So good.

This upcoming week I am planning to make:

Apple stuffed chicken breasts
Cajun chicken sausages (purchased from local butcher)
Seasame-soy broccoli
Beet oven fries (just roast beet fries we cup up using our mandolin in the oven with a little olive oil and S+P)
Wheat berry salad
And one more meat item to be determined after seeing what's on sale at the grocery store.

And workouts will hopefully look like this:

Everyday before work: Run 2+ miles with the dogs plus "extra" exercises as referenced in previous posts.
Monday: Grocery shop and cook
Tuesday: Plyometrics P90X video
Wednesday: Shoulders and Arms P90X video
Thursday: Run
Friday: Relax

Monday morning is coming too soon! Got to go to sleep soon! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Photos

Better late than never...Labor Day Weekend recap.

We did a lot that weekend, but these photos sum it up nicely. It was relaxing.

Yes, that is a very large oatmeal-chocolate chip-peanut butter cookie baked in our dutch oven!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Meals+Workouts Week of Oct 8

(Side note: I don't really have any interesting photos that go with these weekly posts, so I'm just using old photos I have in my files! This week it's wedding pictures. Ha.)

I had a very relaxing weekend at home. This week should be really busy at work. My coworker will be on vacation for three of the days, and that usually means very little down time. Sometimes it's stressful, but I definitely prefer that to being bored! (Though I am jealous of her travels!)

Random photo: My parents and me at my wedding last year.

Meal planning:
Black Bean Cakes with Mixed Greens and Eggs (never got around to making those last week)
Easy Meatballs with marinara sauce and salad
Butternut squash soup with greek yogurt (recipe from a class I took at the Davis Food Co-op) served with seasoned grilled chicken breasts on the side

Me with the dessert table at my wedding--cookies made by my family and friends.

Workouts (may not be in this order exactly):
Everyday before work: Run 2+ miles with the dogs plus "extra" exercises as referenced in previous posts.
Monday: Grocery shop and cook
Tuesday: Back and Biceps P90X + Abs
Wednesday: Cardio X P90X video
Thursday: Run
Friday: Relax

I still have the idea that I'd like to get in one last after-work bike ride before it gets dark too early...this week might be the last chance I have. If I feel inspired/have time I'll do that instead of the run!

Random picture: My hair for my wedding last year. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekend Round-Up

While Adam was off doing his annual Epic Mountain Bike Ride up in Tahoe, I had a relaxing weekend at home.

On Friday night I decided last minute to sign up for a half marathon (the Wolf Pack Events Fall Showdown) that was being held near our home. I'm so glad I did! I had knee problems earlier this year. The last half marathon I ran was in June, and I could barely walk after it thanks to knee pain (pain due in thanks partially to my own stupidity..). I really pulled back on mileage and reduced other impact activities this summer and am so glad I did because my knee has been much better recently. I'd been able to run 6-8 miles easily without any pain on recent weekends so I decided to go for it. The course was easy so it was a good one to try out. I ended up getting my first sub-2 hour time and got 3rd in my age group. Yay!

Post-race happiness. 
Because Adam was out of town, Saturday evening I watched a "girl" movie: What to Expect When You're Expecting. It was cute and funny (though not terribly realistic..) and I'm glad I rented it.

This morning (Sunday) I took the dogs on an easy 4 mile run and then did the Chest, Shoulders and Triceps P90X video + Abs. I'm sure I'll be sore tomorrow (that hurts-so-good feeling...love that).

I made myself a recovery smoothie this morning. I've been tweaking my recipe everyday recently because I got into a rut that wasn't actually that good! Today I had a really simple one that was very good:

~1 heaping cup frozen banana chunks
1 cup fat free milk
1/2 scoop whey protein powder (unflavored)
1 T peanut butter

Turned out the perfect consistency and tasted great. I should just stick to simple instead of getting fancy with lots of ingredients like I last reported.

Simple! Tasty.
Adam is home now and I'm roasting some veggies for dinner. Getting set for the busy week ahead!

Week Wrap-Up

Each week I'm going to post a week plan (with workouts and meals) and then at the end of the week I'll do a reality check to tell you how it actually went down!

For the Menu, I did make three of the four meals.

The Chicken with Garbanzos, Tomatoes and Apricots was quite good. We had it for dinner and there was enough left over for one lunch. I put extra chicken in it than the recipe called for. 

With the remaining chicken from the "bonus pack" I bought for that first recipe, I grilled those pieces that night and we ate them on salads for lunches and dinner. 

Working lunch at the farm.
I also made the Citrus Tilapia. It was edible, but I won't be making it again. I'm not sure if it's the type of fish, or the sauce, or both, but it had a definite bitter taste. Because I didn't like it very much I was never inspired to take a picture!

I am going try to make the Black Bean Patties and Zucchini tots this coming week.

With my commute, life is very crunched in the evenings. Usually I can pull three workotus but this week it just didn't happen. We ended up skipping the Legs and Back workout because both of us have sensitive knees and I've been doing a lot of running so didn't want to exacerbate anything by doing too much impact in one week. So here's what happened:

Everyday: Morning 2+ mile run with the dogs, plus these exercises before and after the run (I mix up the ab exercises and don't usually do plain crunches).
Monday: Grocery shopping and cooking
Tuesday: Kenpo X P90X video
Wednesday: Core Synergistics video
Thursday: Visited family
Friday: Got home late/relaxed and Adam left for a weekend trip

Those two workouts definitely got me sore, so I know I did something good! And I'm having an active weekend so I'm not turning into a blob too quickly.

I took this picture on Friday after a stressful day at work. The dogs and I took a walk before driving home. Only one more week with water in the canals, so we are enjoying the views before they dry up!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Donner Weekend

In September we spent one weekend around Donner Lake, Mt. Rose, and Squaw Valley.

On Saturday Adam and his friend went on an epic mountain bike ride starting at Mt. Rose. While they did that, I road the Tahoe Sierra Century (with great views of Donner Lake!) and hiked the dogs in and around the meadows at Mt. Rose. If you haven't done the Tahoe Sierra Century before, I do recommend it. I've done the 60 mile route twice (wanted to do the 100 mile this year but didn't work out with our schedules). It starts at Squaw Valley and goes over Donner Summit to Cisco Grove and back. It's actually quite an easy ride--don't be scared by riding up Donner Summit! It's not steep and not even very long. They close the road so it's much safer and it's a fun descent on the way back. 

After our bike rides we had dinner in Tahoe City at Rosie's Cafe. I had a turkey burger and Adam had Hawaiian pizza. Adam also ordered us some drinks...after all that exercise the gin and tonic went straight to my head! Here I am looking awkward:

The Tahoe area was busier than usual that weekend because the Tough Mudder race was at North Star that same day. The guys sitting behind us were sharing their war stories from the race the whole time we were there. "Dude, when I was on the monkey bars..." Tough Mudder people were everywhere that evening!

The next day we hiked Castle Peak via Hole in the Ground trail. It was a good one, I hadn't done Hole in the Ground before but I had been to Castle Peak a bunch of times via the PCT. 

Here are a couple views from Castle Peak. It was overcast that day but nice. 

Good weekend! We even got home before dark--amazing!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fig Time

The fig harvest at work was completely dismal this year. We went out one time and were happy with what we got, but when we went back for more the tree was picked clean! We got probably 1/6 of what we enjoyed last year.

With my small basket of figs, I made one batch of jam.

I got five half pints and one 4-ounce jar from this batch. I was a little disappointed though, because I boiled it just a little too long and the jam set up to be very firm. It tasted fine, but to be spreadable has to be heated up. It will work well for a glaze for pork, and Adam managed to mix some into plain Greek yogurt so I'm sure we'll use it up!

Hope for more figs next year! Fig trees produce on new growth, so we are planning on giving the (huge) tree a strategic trim later this Fall in hopes of increasing production. Also hoping for more rain--last year was so dry I think it reduced fruiting as well.

Monday, October 1, 2012

How I Eat. What I eat.

I have no idea if anyone is even interested in what I'm eating...but I'll tell you anyway just in case someone out there is...

My weekdays are busy. My weekends usually are too!

Because my commute is an hour each way, I drink my breakfast on the way to work (smoothie) and don't have a lot of time in the evenings to cook anything that takes longer than about 30 minutes. I do my best to meal plan and have a few recipes to do each week, and we always eat leftovers for lunch. For weekdays, I have a general formula that I follow.

Berry banana smoothie.

Breakfast: Smoothie with a small snack once I am at my desk at work (usually dry cereal with a few nuts, 1/2 cup total)
Mid-morning snack: greek yogurt
Morning: Drink tea (decaf)
Lunch: Vegetable and meat
Afternoon at work: sparkling water
At home: Snack, usually a small bowl of cereal
Dinner: Vegetable and meat
Dessert: Something small, sometimes not-so-small involving chocolate
All day, especially in the morning: Tons of water (usually 2.5-3 quarts between waking up and the time I leave work in the afternoon, not counting tea and sparkling water)

See this post for my smoothie formula.

For my morning yogurt, I usually eat ~1 cup with 1/2 cup of fresh fruit or applesauce (plain/unsweetened) or 1-2 tbsp of homemade jam.

I make all of the jam we eat using local fruits and low sugar recipes.

Lunch is usually a big salad with a little dressing and meat leftover from dinner the previous night. Sometimes I eat frozen (heated) vegetables (I prefer the chopped broccoli but will also eat mixed veggies or green beans). I usually eat 5-6 oz meat.

Snack: I love cereal. Especially with chocolate chips and nuts on it...

Dinner is usually very similar to lunch and I usually make lunches while I make dinner.

Food prep:
I shop on Mondays and that evening I usually make 2 dinner salads (for 2 nights) and salads for both of us for lunch. I try to do as much food prep early in the week as I can.

My downfalls:
-Morning smoothie--could probably have fewer calories. I really love peanut butter and a super creamy smoothie.
-I love cereal. And I always feel snacky in the evenings. I also always want dessert. I know that if I wanted to cut calories I could just stop eating as much in the evenings...but it's so GOOD.
-The occasional drink...I do like gin.
-Starbucks. Never thought I'd say that! I'm not a coffee drinker. But since I have been doing this long commute 5 days a week, I've been allowing myself to stop there once a week (last week I went twice.....). I always get a Frappuccino, usually a tall Mocha Light Frap. Sometimes I get whipped cream because that's the best part. For a while I was getting the Mocha Cookie Crumble one with fat free milk and chocolate whipped cream...but I think that was a really bad idea.
-Condiments: I could probably cut back here too to cut calories. I don't like a lot of salad dressing, but I do need at least some, and I also like BBQ sauce with grilled chicken.

Homemade yogurt ranch dressing. 

My good parts:
-Work--there is generally zero temptation there. There are no restaurants, no other sources of food (unless it's someone's birthday but that only happens 5 times a year). So what I bring is what I get!
-I drink a ton of water and rarely have caffeine.
-Since making some changes earlier this year, I eat a lot more protein and fewer carbs, and I notice that my GI tract prefers this.
-I eat a lot of veggies and lean meat and just a little processed foods (processed foods are usually cereal..which is frequently Cherrios).

So there you have it! Some info on how and what I eat.