Happy November everyone! Happily in the sunny state of VA again for work with the husband. Thrilled because we got out last night for two mile run outside. Today I adventured to the gym and ran two miles on the rickety old treadmill as staff tried to fix the broken tv, I didn’t do it!
Yesterday I took myself to the gym once again. It was nice to get back into the grindstone of working out and feeling good after a two day break. As I was reading the book Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong, I came across something that was interesting. She wrote something along the lines of “people that are runners love to workout and make sure they fit it into their daily schedules. People that do it because they have to make up excuses to get out of it.” I found this very well written with a little truth to it. Lately I have found that, yes, I do have to exercise to lose a few extra pounds of fat on my body but more importantly because I love doing it! I love the feeling of working out and sweating all the nasty chemicals that have entered my body through the air every day. It’s a cleansing moment for me.
Does anyone have the same experience? Do you love or hate your workouts?
Eleanor Roosevelt was once quoted, “Do one thing that every day that scared you.” It’s such a great quote to live by since we as humans can get stuck in major ruts that will last a lifetime if we’re not careful.
When I lived in Japan, doing something against the grain was much easier. Something as simple as using a new sentence structure in Japanese to someone I know could have done my daring quota of the day. Or, trying a different route home or even a new “eccentric” food would more than meet my needs. Maybe this is why I love traveling and living in Japan so much… everyday is a new day with new adventures. As an alien card holder, I always told myself to not be shy (which naturally I am), because most likely you will never meet that same encounter twice in a lifetime. It’s true that yes you will meet people again but many will not remember or even think twice about a first encounter slip up. So, it was easy to pop my head out of my turtle shell and do something daring.
After the first year or so back in the states, I returned back to my shy demeanor until I came across this quote in the book, “Mile Markers: The 26.2 most important reasons why women run” by Runners’ World contributing editor, Kristin Armstrong. It brought me back to my days abroad and I had to ask myself – what’s holding me back from living a new and daring life? When I crossed the time meridian did something change? Maybe time travel or something? Either the reason, I knew instantly I had to break out of my shell and showcase my true self. Living day in and day out can be incredibly boring and insignificant – who wants to be 90 years old and never have tried anything out of their sheltered comfort zone. Not me, I know that.
So I’ve tried a few new things that I haven’t done in a while. For instance today I took some of our fresh banana peppers from the MI farmer’s market and made homemade canned peppers and also pepper relish. I have canned millions of times with my grandmother’s German recipes but it was always with her. Living more than 4 hours away though, it’s too difficult to spend hours in her hot kitchen canning fresh produce. I miss those days but I do look forward to when I can teach my own children and grandchildren the hands-on way she taught us. So, I made 2 jars for myself and my husband with what we had on hand. It was strange doing it alone but exciting at the same time. It taught me that I can really do it myself – my grandmother will be so proud.
Turning the wheels back, last night was actually my first break through “daring moment”, which happened to involve my daily workout. Normally I’ll workout for about an hour or two and feel completely happy with myself. Last night though the husband surprised me by coming home on time and ready for a good run outdoors. The skies were a bright blue, a few picturesque white fluffy clouds presenting themselves and the temperatures in the mid-80’s, who wouldn’t want to get out there and run? We tossed on our running shoes and hit the pavement for our normal 5K run. My husband decided that he wanted to run another mile, which I said “why not”. (Did I mention I already run 4 miles, an additional 1 mile of fartlek training, and a 5 mile bike ride already?) But why let a gorgeous day go to waste? We enjoyed every mile we ran and I wasn’t any more tired than normal. It was the perfect run that my body was needing – one with fresh air, perfect temperatures and a great chat with my running partner.
So, if I had stuck to my normal routine, I would not have 2 colorful jars of canned veggies and not have done a double exercise. If we say “no” to things we come across in life, we may be missing out on important things. Therefore, I urge all of you to get out there and enjoy life to the fullest. Don’t let negative thoughts pull you down but rather challenge them and prove them whose boss.
You know it’s been too long when… you wake up in the morning and interrupt a running dream. It’s been four days since I have really taken to the road or gym for a good workout. Sure, walking around as a tourist in Michigan and swimming was nice but it’s not the same as a good ‘ol sweating workout. I woke up this morning dreaming that I was late for a running event that I had signed up for along with some friends. I ended up going late and not registering for the race, which meant I wasn’t supposed to run. Thankfully I managed to help out a friend that couldn’t run because of an injury right before the race. I started running the race with hardly tied running shoes and no socks. That’s it and I woke up. Strange but I can tell it’s a sign. Do you ever have these dreams?
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Lately I have been working hard out in the gym however it does have its downfalls. Severe stomach pains have plagued my body and it’s hard to do such simple tasks as standing up and yoga. With each pain I’m reminded that I have to stick with the plan of exercising and eating healthy. It’s an unfriendly reminder of sorts…
My soon-to-be six-pack has changed my eating habits the last two days. I’ve decided to reduce fat content and protein while increasing liquids. Additionally, I’m trying to steer away from processed foods and increase whole fruits and veggies. Not that most of you want to know, but I’m trying to clear out my system to release some stress on my stomach muscles. Hopefully that will help out.
Breakfast I feasted on a sautéed bowl of veggies and rehydrated bean curd. I’m testing new ideas with the dried bean curd (found at Chinese store) and this was my first breakfast stir-fry trial. Tasty! It included peas, corn, re-hydrated bean curd, cabbage, cherry tomatoes and some spices. Yum! I also had some homemade toast with vegemite and fig/sesame seed jam.
Snack: Frozen Ice Treat – 100 calories
Lunch: Chopped Romaine Lettuce with cherry tomatoes, Trader Joe’s Baked Teriyaki Tofu and that’s it. My sugar level was a little low, so I had one piece of Dark Chocolate (vegan). I also had some Organic Garden of Eating Whole Grain Baked Tortilla chips (it’s made with millet, quinoa and so on).
Dinner was made by me tonight (I know I’m a softy- it’s husbands’ week to cook). I prepared Caulipots (Appetite for Reduction) but then I realized my husband had some leftover French fries that needed to be eaten and out of the fridge. So, I put the Caulipots in a sealable container and placed it in the fridge for Wednesday. At least it has already been prepared and I don’t have to worry about it. Then I prepared Brown Rice and Pinto Bean Burgers. Both were simple enough to prepare, just time consuming with all the waiting between steps. I placed a burger on a homemade burger bun for my darling man. For me, I prepared a smoothie of freshly cracked open Thai coconut water and meat, strawberries, a little almond milk and some fresh kale. It tasted amazing! For the husband I made the same thing but added a frozen banana and a large tablespoon of vegan protein powder. He said it tasted like ice cream. *happy dance*
(Sorry, I’m sitting in a Panera bread drinking coffee as I type this blog entry. I unfortunately do not have my camera and regrettably forgot to transfer the photos from my camera. I’ll get to it tomorrow when I have the camera. Sorry about the inconvenience.
Snack: a little Kashi cereal since my stomach started to grumble. I was hoping for no snack but it didn’t turn out that way… grrr
Exercise: Unfortunately I had to listen to my stomach first and skip the workout. The pain just getting up and down is so strong, I just wanted to give it a break.
diet, eco-friendly, exercise journal, exercise log, healthy foods, my workout, running, vegan, vegan breakfast, vegan diet, vegan dinner, vegan food, vegan menu, vegan runner, veganism, weight gain, weight loss
He began to make his own breakfast since it’s his week to do meals. Unfortunately he forgets about me, so I have to make my own breakfast and lunch. But, at least he is trying to make a few dinner meals on his own. Note to you all out there, it’s great to have your spouse make meals every once and a while. Not only does it give the main chef in the house a break but it also gives your spouse a small glimpse of all the hard work done every other day. It stresses my husband out to have to make a meal but I think it’s good for him to make something that he has picked out. Husband made himself some cold oatmeal cereal with some Organic Whole Grain Cereal sprinkled on top, a little homemade almond & coconut butter, a peach diced up, and organic coconut milk. For me, I had baked tofu, cherry tomatoes from our own plant, and a sliced peach. Mmmm
Lunchtime came so fast. I was so completely busy with work that I didn’t have time to think about what to eat for lunch. So I took advantage of the leftover mock pepperoni and made a mock taco salad. Yum! It is an instant favorite in our household. Additionally I had a homemade Oatmeal Raisin cookie, one little piece of dark chocolate and a frozen Popsicle. I went a little crazy with the snacking, I wasn’t very happy with myself. I was still a bit hungry, but I went ahead and drank some English tea to reduce my urge to eat more. Drinking lots of fluids helps me reduce my food cravings. Only problem with my plan is that it makes me also have to use the restroom all the time. Lol
I took to the gym before my husband came home. I have come up with a plan that I want to workout at least a little before my husband comes home to assure that I get enough time to do the work that needs to be done. Then my husband meets me at the gym or we meet outside to run in the hot heat. Today though, he met me at the gym since we had severe thunderstorm watch and it was lightly sprinkling. Workout: 2 hours in length.
Again it was the husband’s turn to make dinner while I did some work on the computer. He made a questionable dinner of quinoa and chickpeas. The recipe seemed to be missing something though, flavor. My husband also gave me a plate of lettuce and a sliced tomato. (haha, nothing else on it) I ended up not eating much so we again had to have some stove popped popcorn and English tea as a snack. He agreed though too about not enjoying the meal, thank goodness it wasn’t just me.
4 miles in 49 minutes on spastic treadmill
5 miles in 30 minutes on bike
30 minutes weight lifting
10 minutes stretching/yoga
3 sit-ups (my stomach muscles hurt so bad I couldn’t do anymore)
diet, eco-friendly, exercise journal, exercise log, healthy foods, my workout, running, vegan, vegan breakfast, vegan diet, vegan dinner, vegan food, vegan menu, vegan runner, veganism, weight gain, weight loss
I know, I know, I’m a day behind but nevertheless it’s here. Unlike the past few months, my husband and I had an uneventful weekend. Actually, we didn’t even venture out to any community event or tourist attraction. Hard to believe, I know, even for me.
The weekend for me starts on Friday night after I finish my last article for the week. Amazingly I was on fire, kinda like the Northern states right now, so I had a little free time. The weather was very questionable outside and the skies were threatening anyone without shelter. So, after my husband called to let me know he was going to have a meeting around the time he normally comes home – I took advantage of my free time. I took off to our gym to do a little workout. About an hour into the workout I received a call from my husband stating he was going to be delayed yet again. Now I don’t love my husband being gone but I do love the chance to get a 1 ½ hour workout- hooray! My workout: 30 minutes running, 30 minutes weight-lifting, and 30 minutes biking. I also managed to do some yoga (right in the gym baby) to stretch as a cool-down. For dinner: Mock Pepperoni Pieces over a bed of salad. Simple but delicious! After dinner we headed off to one of our local Panera Bread Restaurants for a little work on the free wi-fi outside the house. We treated ourselves to sugared drinks: Husband=Iced Green Tea, Me=Lemonade.
Saturday was another one of those un-inspired days. We took off to Cleveland’s famous farmer’s market to get a bunch of fresh produce. We are a little unhappy with the choice of farmers’ market in the area. If you have ever lived in Cleveland, you know what I mean. It’s hard to find fresh produce from a local farmer, especially at the Cleveland Farmer’s Market. Some vendors actually have fresh Ohio produce but double the price compared to other imported options they have, very disappointing. Hence, we generally do not purchase from there for this reason. It’s inflated prices for non-organic imported produce. We left with some flavored couscous, kale, peaches and a few potatoes. When we returned we ended up working a little and then taking naps. It was husbands’ week to cook meals (probably will last a day or two) so he took off to do about 3 hours of cooking (he takes longer since he’s a very precise thinking and doer). I took off to the gym for 2 hours, which he was thankful I got out of the kitchen. I never leave him behind when I workout since we are partners in workouts but when he’s busy, I get my own freedom. My workout: 30 minutes running, 45 minutes biking, 30 minutes weight lifting, and some yoga stretches. Dinner: two different kinds of Indian Curried Lentils. After dinner we settled in for a nice Japanese movie calledダーリンは外国人 (My Darling is a Foreigner).
Sunday: We woke up early again thanks to our loud neighbors, so we had a little spare time. The husband, who becomes easily addicted to things, wanted to return to The Root Café in Lakewood, Ohio for some vegan pastries and locally roasted coffee. It is a funky café that only sells locally grown organic produce; all of their goodies are done in-house. The prices can get a little high, especially for entrees but we do enjoy the coffee and atmosphere. We sat for about three hours working on some things that needed to get done, such as purchasing my 7 year old nieces’ birthday present and a little present for my husband too. Then, I took my handsome man to Lake Erie to play around with my new camera. I love my camera! Thank you honey!!! I took around 70 photos of him and also the boats playing around on the water. It was perfect. Afterward we took an unusal trip to Five Guys Burger joint for lunch. Unfortunately they do not cater to vegetarians now vegans but they do have an option to toss vegetables on a bun. Hopefully they will soon realize not everyone wants animal flesh. We had an unhealthy meal but we don’t do it often so we were okay with it. We didn’t even manage to eat one small fry together so I guess we are changing our minds on fast-food. Needing to walk around, we took to some shops to walk around. A trip to Robek’s Smoothie to get a Zen Berry (the only vegan option on the menu) and we were off to our house. We headed to the gym right away. We weren’t feeling like working out but we went anyways. Unfortunately we only spend about 30 minutes lifting weights together. Normally we don’t workout on Sunday’s so we weren’t disappointed with only 30 minutes.
Next was dinner which again was the husband’s duty. We weren’t hungry after the junk food we ate at lunch so we decided on mock taco salads. We had leftover mock pepperoni, a little leftover vegan re-fried beans and some salad each. The husband also had some homemade Almond & Coconut Butter on homemade bread. We topped the evening off with some stove popcorn and a good cup of English tea. It was uneventful but sometimes that is what we all need.
So many times I have had negative issues run through my mind about every aspect of life. Let the thought be about exercise, losing weight, relationships, food or whatnot, these negative thoughts get in the way of true happiness and accomplishment. It’s important to treat these negative thoughts appropriately and merely pass them on by for what they never should have been in the first place.
Today I found myself in this situation of listening to the negative voice in my head. This “voice in my head” seems to get more vocal when I’m out in public, especially when it deals with the gym. As a teen I had gone to a gym, but, it was towards the tennis courts and not the exercise machine areas. I had closed my mind to the idea that “a person like” could ever become a muscle-clad athletic person that ventured into the gym. Along with my roommate in university, I found that I could enter a gym without being laughed at or kicked out by a bouncer. My roommate and I were newbie’s together and did that ever help out with my nerves. In fact, it ended up that I built an addiction to the gym and had a minor case of Hypergymnasia.
After a few years I grew out of this exercise addiction and gained all the lost weight back. I never grew out of my love for longer workouts in the gym though. Throughout all the numerous workouts, I find it strange that I never strayed too far from my comfort zone. I used the treadmill, loose weights and sometimes the elliptical machine. Strange as it may sound, I never touched any of the other machines because I didn’t feel worthy enough for these serious machines. Today though, I thought to myself how isolated I am when I’m in the gym. What keeps me from trying out these other machines that work unused muscles? My answer was fear. I found that throughout the last 5-10 years since the first day in university that I went to the gym, I have kept telling myself that these machines were not for me.
Of course, this is a major hurdle in my journey to become a better person and live a healthier lifestyle. Today I tore away the bondage of negative thoughts holding me back from trying new gym equipment. Now, it may sound odd to outsiders but to me this was liberating. I pushed back the negative thoughts and tried doing some yoga on the gym mats right in plain sight of other gym goers. Sounds small but it was a major turn in my life. No one turned, wide-eyed and laughed at me nor did that bouncer come out of hiding and kick me out. I enjoyed my yoga workout after 60 minutes running and biking. Not only did I stress my physical but also my mental self.
Out with the negative and now in with the positive. Sometimes it can be hard listening to ones’ inner self that has only negative things to say. But, God gave us all the gift of ignoring, not to be confined with ignorance. One must keep rationality at ones’ fingertips and remember that we must let ourselves be tested, just keep a level head and remove negative thoughts.
In my case, I am leaving and working on the thought that I can enjoy all life’s wondrous events (even dining with friends) without ruining my goals. My suggestion for anyone is to listen to these negative thoughts and try to rationalize. If you won’t be hurt, no one else will be hurt and you aren’t breaking any morals and/or laws, ignore your negative thoughts and try something new and or do the things you want to do. What do you have to lose?
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Today started out a little warmer than it has been, but that’s okay because I love warm weather. Unfortunately, by around noon, the temperatures increased to the high 90’s and with humidity it was in the 100’s.
My simple tricks to not using AC on these types of days when possible:
1. Open your windows early to let in as much cool air as possible.
2. Put your shades and/or blinds half way down the window so that air can creep through but still block the sunshine. If there is no air flow outside, go ahead and put them all the way down. Less light coming in translates to less heat coming in too.
3. Use a simple fan, if needed, to create more air flow, especially if you have pets.
4. Drink lots of fluids. It really does cool you down and keeps you hydrated.
Even though it was hot out, I managed to keep our house about ten or more degrees cooler throughout the entire day. Hooray! Saving the earth and our electricity bill is fantastic. We were a bit more sluggish but nothing that kept us from baking and moving around the house the entire day.
Today I managed to get the husband out the door on time again. We took the vegan pooch out for a walk before he left and both were happy campers. I sent him off with some leftover frozen muffins and a few other things for breakfast. Better to have leftovers than to make something new and let things go to waste. No waste in this household please. For me, I had cold oatmeal again along with some freshly cleaned strawberries.
In the morning I managed to pump out some good articles for work that needed finishing touches. Boy was I glad that they were off to my publisher – hooray! Then I managed to remember that it was lunch time and I had to eat something. I had leftover Aum Aum and some leftover Hiking Chopped Salad. As a little cold treat, I had a serving of Soy Creamery from trader Joes. Yum!
For some reason I got this great idea to make some baked goodies for my husband today in the heat. Maybe it was the heat getting to my brain or something? I decided on making some whole wheat chocolate chip cake which is actually a breakfast recipe from Mon Petit Chou.
The afternoon it was amazingly hot, especially compared to the cooler days we have been experiencing. I love the heat but it does dehydrate. So, I had a serving of Recharge Powder with Electrolytes and more than 64oz of water. (Recharge Powder is new I think and I got it free with my Klean Kanteen.) I love my 64oz Klean Kanteen for counting water intake. I make sure I drink at least one full bottle everyday. I also had a few pretzels.
The hardworking husband got home from work and we got ready for our run. The skies were threatening storms so we decided to do a shorter route. Plus, with the heat, we weren’t sure how far we would be able to go. It’s a strange experience to be sweating before you even step outside. Ah well, that means we will be working hard for a shorter period of time. Hooray! We ran 5k in 34 minutes, which isn’t really that bad considering the temperature. By the end of the run, my husband said my face was flushed because it was seriously hot and my body was feeling it. The air was thick and breathing was more of a challenge but who doesn’t like a challenge?
Showers were out of the way and it was time to create something for dinner. Oh wait! I had already created dinner before I left – love that! We had Chickpea and Hijiki Salad on bread. The recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan with a Vengeance. Unfortunately I did not care for the recipe but the husband really enjoyed it. Actually, he mentioned it tasted just like egg salad on bread. I think he’s crazy but considering he took it for lunch today too, he must have loved it. He had one Chickpea and Hijiki Salad and one Sunflower Seed Butter Sandwich – he said he was starving after the workout. For me, I had Hiking Chopped Salad – which I am addicted to right now. Additionally we had some strawberries, cherry tomatoes and plenty of cold iced tea. Afterward we had freshly popped popcorn in coconut oil from the stove. Also a small piece each of the cake I made. Yum!
We had planned on getting some more things done but unfortunately it was really hot outside, thunderstorms were coming to town and we were dog tired after the run. So, we stayed home and hide from the outside world.
The old phrase goes, when you live in the Northern states you watch the news for a good laugh since the weather changes by the minute. What’s the weather today? Let me look out the window and tell you. Yep, that’s been our story for the last few weeks. It’s been very hard to tell if we needed the winter jacket or join a nudist colony. Okay, so maybe that is a little over the top but it has been changing every second, whichever way the wind blows.
Sunday was no different here in Ohio. The meteorologist was guesstimating severe thunderstorms and the sky was telling us clear blue skies with extreme high humidity. Yep, the sky won. ha-ha I believe the meteorologist was right, just a day off since the weather is looking oh so promising for severe thunderstorms right about now. Let the show begin! Unfortunately we did not plan too much for yesterday due to the predicted weather, we do not want to get stuck in the rain like last time.
The husband was back to his normal self and didn’t get out of bed early today. I was truly worried about his on Saturday – so unusual for him. I think the Vegan Dog was even worried, or rather disgruntled because she didn’t have a sleeping-in partner like normal. Instead we both slept a little later (okay so maybe only 8:30AM but that is good for us). I got up and decided to make the husband some Oatmeal Banana Raisin Waffles. It’s been a week or so since I made him waffles so I guess it was due time – especially since the freezer was completely out of frozen homemade ones. Yikes! That almost never happens in our household. I made myself a nice bowl of cold oatmeal. We sat outside enjoying the weather and breakfast as the birds sang. It’s strange that we are about the only ones that actually sit outside to enjoy this beautiful time together.
So, after eating breakfast and sitting around chatting and reading a little in the sunshine, I got to work. I love reading and chatting but there is nothing like getting house work done in the morning before it gets too hot. Seriously, one doesn’t need AC on all the time if you just plan ahead. I finished cleaning our second floor (which included the full bathroom) in about an hour or so. Hooray! That means that it is basically done for another week and I have more freedom during the work week to get work done. Plus the Vegan Dog got a good bath before I cleaned the bathroom which was something that really needed to get done. Hooray! Now she needs something done with the bad breath and nails. Ah well… baby steps…
For lunch I made another Hiking Chopped Salad which was my husband’s request, not that I minded one bit. Actually I made it as a new variation with more celery, less tomatoes, more herbs and so on. Since we are addicted to it, I went ahead and made a double batch to save time this next week. It gets better with age so I don’t have to worry about it going bad. The husband also paired it with some of Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels since he has to take in more calories than me per meal. (Nope, I’m not associated with Trader Joe’s but seriously love their products!) Then we went ahead and splurged with a single serving of Soy Creamery (again TJ’s) and a few pieces of Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate chips. Man was it delicious on a hot day!
In the afternoon we did some more work on the laptops and cleaned just a little more. My husband also purchased me my “anniversary present” finally. Hooray! I can’t wait until it gets here! It’s coming straight from the company and just really am dancing over the moon with it! “happy dance” Hint: I’ll take lots of photos of it when I get it! He-he
Around dinner we were supposed to go to a concert in the park but decided that it was a little too warm and we were a little bit lazy. We chose to stay home and watch Corner Gas (Canadian Show) and make a nice dinner together. Yep, we were that lazy! Tonight’s dinner was Peta‘s free recipe called Aum Aum. To tell you the truth, I did not even know they had recipes on their site for free but was happy to find there were some vegan options available. It was labeled as Indian but I would call it more Italian than anything else. I’ll review the recipe in another blog entry to try to make this one shorter for you all to read. Since our eggplant was a large one (only available in American store), I decided to make breaded eggplant as a side dish. I followed my original recipe for Fried Okra batter and it turned out great! To tell you the truth, my husband was more excited about the battered eggplant than the pasta. So cute!
In the evening we delighted in some more stove-top popped popcorn with coconut oil and watched Corner Gas. Man were we lazy today but at least we had fun doing it. We did get some things done but sometimes you just have to relax and stay out of the sunshine.
How was your weekend?