Tag Archives: goals

Running update

17 Jan

Yesterday’s review inspired me to write a post about my running adventures.

I told you about our little family goal to workout six times a week for two months. So far, it’s been going great! Mr. X has not missed a beat. I admittedly skipped one run the day I found out about my family tragedy, but we’ve decided to excuse me due the gravity of the situation (and, frankly, how hard I’ve been taking the loss). Otherwise, I have finished all my scheduled runs, and I’m slowly increasing my speed and stamina. Here’s what I’ve been up to the last week (plus a preview of Saturday’s short run):

TrainingHow do I feel? I feel amazing. Seriously. After the first few days, the soreness has lessened considerably. I had been struggling to complete all my miles without walking breaks — even the short distances — but then something changed this weekend. Suddenly my runs were an opportunity to release the emotions I’ve been feeling. Even though I walked a third of a couple of two- and three-milers, on Sunday I somehow managed to run five entire miles. I stopped for red lights, but otherwise, I ran five miles. I know there are a lot of great athletes out there, and plenty of people who routinely run that distance, but I don’t. I have never felt stronger, or more like I can do anything.

However, I have noticed a little knee pain this week. I know how important strength training is no matter what you’re doing, but I have been totally half-assing any work. That has to stop! I need to do more leg work in addition to core and arms. The last thing I want to do is injure my knee (or any other part of me, for that matter) when I’m feeling so into the training. I found this article about strength exercises for runners, and I will keep looking for more ideas. If you have any to share, please do!

I will never be a marathoner (’cause I don’t wanna), but I’m excited to do my first 10k this year, and actually feel prepared for it!

How are your 2013 goals coming? I’d love to hear about them!

Health goals for 2013

3 Jan

2012 most definitely had its ups and downs, and frankly I have zero interest in a reflection on my life over the year or my favorite recipes or anything of the sort. Lots of other bloggers do it, and that’s great, but it’s not very me.

I do, however, love planning. I’m a little hyper-addicted to it, in fact. It’s due in part to being a bit (ha!) high-strung, but it’s largely, too, because without a schedule or list of goals, I lose motivation easily. Crossing things off a list or having something specific to work toward really inspire me. I also love deadlines. I’m sick, but it’s not contagious.

So while I’m happy to say that 2012 wasn’t too shabby in terms of my eating and exercise, I still want to do better this year. With that in mind, here are the food and fitness goals I’ve outlined so far:

  1. Complete B & X’s 60-Day Challenge. The B is me, and the X is my husband, just so you know. He decided to complete the Insanity workout, which is eight weeks. To encourage him — and myself — I pledged to do a complementary program of my own design. Basically I’m recommitting to the 10k training plan I abandoned in the fall, plus adding two more workouts (yoga, strength training, bike riding, etc.) in each week. In sum, we will be active for six days a week. At the four- and eight-week marks, we’re going to get a little reward, to be determined. By doing the challenge together, we keep each other honest and motivated. But by engaging in separate activities, we can do the workouts we prefer and not embarrass ourselves in front of each other. Ha.
  2. Run my first 10k. I’m currently searching for one in late April/early May to coincide with the completion of my training (yep, it will continue after the 60-Day Challenge — it’s 15 weeks!). I will actually hit a 10k distance in mid-February, however, so I’m consider doing it earlier in the training and then another one after it’s over. I’m just talking to myself over here. Sorry.
  3. Cook almost every meal at home.  You’ll notice I didn’t set an exact number each week, because it can be hard to predict work week plans. And frankly, sometimes takeout or a heat-and-eat pizza from Ralph’s are important for my mental health, too, on particularly stressful days. However, “almost every” pretty much means every lunch (with exceptions for work commitments), dinner every week night, and a brunch and dinner on the weekend. But again, I left myself some flexibility.

Those are my specific goals. I have some general thoughts about trying new cooking methods, eating more fruit and greens, and things like that, but nothing is fleshed out. I’m considering doing some kind of weekly recipe challenge in February, though, so be on the lookout for more details. And, of course, I have a bunch of other goals, but they are unrelated to the topic of this blog, so I didn’t think you’d be interested.

And just so this entry isn’t totally colorless, here is my cute little breakfast:

Breakfast

I made half a batch of Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal (no nuts or chocolate) in two of my new ramekins. They are so convenient! Yesterday I ate them hot from the oven, and today it was so easy to pop the little container in the microwave. I’ll make another half batch tomorrow morning.

And here’s lunch:

Lunch

The dips look way less appetizing than they are. Ha! The brown mess is a variation/simplification of Susan’s Black-Eyed Pea Hummus recipe. Here are my variations:

  • Used 1 cup of black-eyed peas and 1 cup of black beans (all freshly cooked at home)
  • Omitted the onions and pecans
  • Subbed white vinegar for lemon juice because I forgot to buy lemons

The green sauce is my Creamy Vegan Dill Dressing, though again I had to sub in vinegar for the juice, and I used hot sauce instead of jalapeno. I apparently paid no attention at all at the store. The dressing was left over from last night’s salad:

Almost identical to the original one, it featured baby spinach, black beans, roasted corn, avocado, the dressing, and tortilla strips. I made the strips from stale corn tortillas lurking in the fridge, and then I turned the rest into the chips you see above for my lunch.

And now I have three questions for you:

1. What kind of health-related goals have you set this year?

2. Do you give a hoot about other kinds of goals I’m setting, or should I still to diet and exercise? (I promise your answer won’t hurt my feelings.)

3. Would including nutritional information about my recipes help you?

Goals revisited and renewed

31 Jan

Today is the end of January, so I wanted to take a moment to explore the six goals I set out for myself.

1. a. Cook dinner at home three days a week every week in January. I can claim success on this one! Both my wallet and my waistline thank me, though I need to keep pushing myself even harder.

1. b. Make something just for me. I am counting this week’s muffins as part of this goal, though I really do want to start crafting again. I need to get my stuff all set up.

2. a. Go to the Clippers/Thunder game on January 30. We went last night!

It was a really fun game, and as things in LA go, it was a pretty inexpensive date night that we’ll be doing again.

2. b. Register for a triathlon. I failed at this one, but I’m giving myself a pass. As much as I wanted to be in shape for a March 10 triathlon, I just wouldn’t be. So I’m setting my sights on finding another one. I really do want to tackle a tri in 2012!

3. a. Contact an animal charity about becoming a volunteer. I sent out inquiries over the weekend and am waiting to hear back.

3. b. Call a friend just to chat. I called a friend not once but twice just to chat! And you know what? I loved it. I need to keep remembering how nice it is to reconnect with people I love.

Now it’s time to plan for February! It’s going to be a busy month (hello wedding!), but here are my six goals:

1. a. Bring lunch from home four days a week every week in February.

1. b. Craft something — anything!

2. a. Use my 7-day YMCA pass and then join, if we want.

2. b. Check out a new-to-me music venue.

3. a. Volunteer for a day somewhere.

3. b. Call two friends just to chat.

Going with the flow

10 Jan

The cooking plan I posted about yesterday hasn’t 100% gone without a hitch. Things like this honestly tend to bother me. I’m a planner and a perfectionist, so it annoys me when what I anticipate isn’t a reality. Another problem I tend to have is over-scheduling — expecting too much from myself — which only leads to failure, and, in turn, feeds a cycle of disappointment in myself. I’ve recently started trying to set realistic goals and expectations of myself and to try to cut myself some slack. So here’s how the meal-prep schedule has gone in reality:

Sunday: day — make quinoa soup in the slow cooker; night — soak pinto beans (for taco salad)
Monday: day — X makes pinto beans on the stove; night — soak black beans soak pinto beans because the first batch didn’t make enough
Tuesday: day — make black beans in the slow cooker and soak chickpeas cook pinto beans on the stove and forget to soak black beans and chickpeas so send X a frantic text to soak them before he leaves for the set; night — cook chickpeas and black beans on the stove
Wednesday: day — make chili (containing chickpeas and black beans) in the slow cooker; night — cook zucchini and make cilantro spread (for wraps)

Though I didn’t follow my own instructions to a T, laying out a plan did help me greatly in getting things together, so that’s a plus. I still intend to keep writing out the basic plan to keep myself on track each week.

On Sunday, I also had a goal of making a weekly cleaning schedule. I gave it some thought, but I never committed anything to paper. I still intend to complete the plan; however, it’s not something I need to do right now, so I’m going with the flow and trying to cut myself some slack.

I did make some good progress on my other goals, however. I:

  • Did yoga again — that’s twice in a week!
  • Made a (diabetic-friendly) meal plan and cooked a big pot of soup for my lunches and dinner Monday night. I should be able to eat homemade stuff every day this work week, though we may grab dinner out on Friday night anyway.
  • Scrubbed the stove and started thinking about a cleaning schedule.
  • Started taking steps to let go of a few things that tend to bring me down.

Pretty good progress so far! In the interest of staying on track, I’m going to tackle another thing I’ve been putting off this week:

9. Clear my name at the library. Time to square up. I want to start reading more again, and I can’t until I come clean.

I’ll be back later to share an easy, delicious taco salad “recipe.” I hope everyone’s having a great start to the week!

PB&J Cookies and more planning

9 Jan

First, let’s get to the good stuff: PB&J Cookies. These were created by looking at a bunch of different recipes, and the end result is a tasty, fluffy, fairly fiber-loaded treat.

PB&J Cookies

  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if peanut butter contains salt)
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • About 1/4 cup warm water, as needed
  • 3 teaspoons (or a little more) jam, flavor of your choice

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, oats, 1/4 cup of sugar, and salt. In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, vanilla, oil, and 2 tablespoons of water, mixing with a fork until combined. Add the wet to dry and mix until just combined. If the dough won’t hold together, add water a tablespoon at a time until it’s workable. I used my hands.

Pour 3 remaining tablespoons of sugar on a small plate. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, roll them in the sugar, and place on the baking sheet. Flatten each ball slightly. Grab your 1/4 teaspoon measure and use it to make an indentation in each cookie. Now use it again to fill each dent with your jam of choice (mine was a strawberry-raspberry-blueberry blend from the Hollywood Farmers Market). Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes. Do not over-bake. Mine were perfect — lightly browned on the bottom and not runny) at 12 minutes.

Makes 12 cookies.

These will go fast! They have the classic flavor of America’s favorite sandwich but with a grown-up sophistication.

I wanted to talk a little more about meal planning. We finalized our plan for the week (after realizing we aren’t allowed to grill on-site — boo!). The plan outline:

Monday: lunch — quinoa soup; dinner — taco salad
Tuesday: ditto
Wednesday: lunch — quinoa soup; dinner — chili
Thursday: lunch — zucchini wrap; dinner — chili
Friday: lunch — zucchini wrap; dinner — leftovers?

I want to prepare all my legumes from dried this week, so I decided to take my meal plan a step further by writing a daily schedule of when to soak or cook what. This will be especially helpful as I use the slow cooker multiple times. Here is the plan

Sunday: day — make quinoa soup in the slow cooker; night — soak pinto beans (for taco salad)
Monday: day — X makes pinto beans on the stove; night — soak black beans
Tuesday: day — make black beans in the slow cooker and soak chickpeas; night — cook chickpeas on the stove
Wednesday: day — make chili (containing chickpeas and black beans) in the slow cooker; night — cook zucchini and make cilantro spread (for wraps)

I’m hoping this plan will keep me organized and de-stressed. I’ll let you know how it goes (and the meals, too!).

Sunday Funday

8 Jan

Good morning, everyone! Well, it’s still the a.m. here on the West Coast. I’m cozied up in bed watching the Giants (hopefully) defeat the Falcons with tea and my love. Perfect start to Sunday, no?

image

I have a fun post planned for this evening on making a day’s worth of meals with a sad, empty kitchen, but until football is done for the day, I am stuck blogging from my cranky cell.

In the meantime, here are my plans for the rest of the day:

1. Pick up lunch (we’re thinking Tender Greens or Mendocino Farms)
2. Unpack our DVDs
3. Clean the kitchen
4. Make a tentative weekly cleaning schedule
5. Hit the grocery store
6. Get started on meal prep for the week

I hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend, and I’ll see you again in a few hours!

Plannin’ and linkin’

7 Jan

Plannin’

In an effort to make 2012 a ballin’ year, I’m taking the goals I outlined (plus a few others, too) seriously and getting to work on progress. One step that tackles several goals at once is my old friend, meal planning. I wrote a whole post about my method a year and one day ago — ha! What a coincidence. I’m so far out of my normal routine, however, that I decided to get it going the old-fashioned way: with pen and paper.

At the top, I wrote some ideas and then had my mister pick two dinners he’d like to have. I then started to plan out when we would eat what at the bottom. I wrote a grocery list on the next page to make it easier. Basic but easy. I’ll give more details on any successful recipes this week.

I am excited that meal planning addresses more than one of my goals: reducing my dairy (everything I cook this week will be vegan), prioritizing diabetic-friendly meals, making progress on my financial goals (cooking at home is obviously cheaper than eating out all the time), and cooking dinner at home at least three days a week. Hurray for productivity!

Linkin’

I wanted to share a couple of links I loved today:

(from wilton.com)

25 clever ideas to make life easier. (Thanks to Sasha of the amazing Global Table Adventure for the link on Facebook!) I’m all about the walnut, the baby powder, the magnet, the cupcakes in a cone (having first read about them in Eat, Drink and Be Vegan), and the cookie bowls.

Speaking of Global Table, did you hear Sasha on Rick Steves this week? Go listen right now! Sasha’s an amazing cook and blogger and also a great person (and fellow Tulsan).

In some happy news, the Fitnessista is having her baby! Possibly right now. Wow!

I am planning to re-line the drawers in my kitchen because they’re, well, grody. I hit up my friend Google and found this design*sponge tutorial from the Wayback Machine. Easy, cheap, and adorable? Heck yeah!

I was looking for a vegan hot and sour soup recipe that wasn’t full of crazy stuff, and I stumbled onto Kathy’s Slow-Cooker recipe on the FatFree Vegan Kitchen. How amazing does that look?!

Alright, friends. I’m off to do tackle my some more goals (cooking dinner and doing yoga — did I mention I’m sick? From whence comes this energy?). I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!