Thursday, February 23, 2012

run, run, run

I have been keeping up with my training schedule this week and doing some workouts from the Nike Training Club app on my cross training days. The running app is pretty good too although I may switch it up a bit adding km's to my sunday long run here and there. During your run the voice of Hal Higdon gives you little encouraging messages along with letting you know about your half way point, and noting what km you are at. The messages are pretty funny...for example "couch potatoes may not have sore muscles, but they will have a lifetime of other hurts"

We have been really sticking to our meal plan and it has been working really well...definitely saves us money on the grocery bill and makes the annoying task of trying to throw something together with a hungry impatient toddler pulling at your leg a little bit less stressful. And it was so nice to have pancake tuesday this week! I love any holiday that calls for pancakes for dinner!

yumm! we had ours with honey lime zest fruit salad.

And in keeping up with the idea of  pancake tuesday I am giving something up for wheat until Easter. Goodbye muffins, bread, crackers etc. I have been doing great with my workouts but not being super mindful of what food I have been eating so a self inflicted challenge is just the thing.
Basically I am going to be focusing on fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean little packaged foods as possible and no baked goods. I guess I shouldn't have got Ben a bread baking course for Christmas!

Friday, February 17, 2012

I ♥ yummy cookbooks where every recipe is a winner

Isn't it nice when you find a cookbook and all the recipes you try from it are great? One of my favourites is the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook from the lovely restaurant of the same name in Victoria. I like to stop in there for breakfast when I am visiting and it is always yummy and delightful. I have had their book for awhile and have recently been trying out some recipes that I always thought sounded good but had yet to try, as well as some old favourites.

Here are two soups that are really good and pretty quick and easy:

Greek Red Lentil with Lemon, Rosemary and Feta cheese

2 cups red lentils
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lg yellow onion diced
2 tsp sea salt
8 cloves garlic minced
2 carrots, diced
1 tsp cracked pepper
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1 tbsp minced rosemary
2 tbsp minced oregano
2 bay leaves
8 cups veg stock
zest of 1/2 lemon
juice of 2 lemons
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tsp minced rosemary
cracked pepper to taste

Rinse lentils & drain. Saute onion, garlic, carrot and spices. Add lentils and stock, bring to boil and reduce to simmer until lentils are falling apart. Remove bay leaves and give it a quick buzz with the hand blender (if you like)
Season with remaining ingredients listed and enjoy! It is also delicious with prawns or whitefish cooked up in it and served over quinoa. (Inspired by our friend who pours it over chicken and bakes it - yumm! and she is also pictured in the book which makes her pretty much a celebrity and expert!)

It freezes really well and is great over brown rice and with a bunch of chopped spinach added while it heats up!

Next up is:

Curried Chickpea with Tomatoes, ginger and cilantro

This recipe is slightly adapted because I am sort of lazy and find it a challenge to follow recipes precisely.

8 cups veg stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion finely diced
2 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
8 garlic cloves minced
3 tbsp minced ginger
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded
1 red pepper
6 ripe tomatoes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1/8 tsp tumeric
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup mango chutney
1 can coconut milk
1/2 bunch cilantro chopped

Saute onion and spices. Throw ginger, garlic, jalapenos, tomatoes and pepper in food processor for a rough chop and add to pot and simmer for a while. Add chickpeas and stock and simmer for another 10 min or so. Add coconut milk and mash chickpeas with a potato masher to help thicken soup. Simmer on low for an hour or so. Season with s&p and a big handful of chopped cilantro.

We had it over quinoa and is was really yummy and a healthy filling dinner. It also makes a lot so we kept some out for lunch the next day and had enough to freeze for some busy nights ahead.

I really recommend investing in this cookbook! It is a goody. What are your favourite cookbooks with consistent great recipes?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Things I learned at my first kickboxing class

Well, I survived my first kick boxing class! This was not a 'cardio kickboxing aerobics' type class, this was of the 'a russian kickboxing champion has a gym and is going to train you to get in the ring' variety.
I learned several things tonight a few of which I will share with you now.

  1. You don't get to punch people in the first class.
  2. I can not, now nor may I ever do the splits. 
  3. I am actually more uncoordinated than I once thought and deciphering my left from my right proves  to be surprisingly challenging .
  4. Dropping to give you 20 push ups on my toes and fists is not something that I am currently able to do.
  5. My teacher can definitely knock you out.
  6. I really liked it and it was a super good workout.
I think this will be an awesome wednesday cross training class and I hope I can move my legs to do my run tomorrow!

New schedule

I have to say I have been avoiding posting lately because I have been feeling rather unmotivated and I am not sure why. It is silly to not just write about that stuff too because it is a natural part of life and this training....motivation going up...and down.
That said I have decided to follow my original Hal Higdon app that I purchased for the next 12 weeks and it began on Monday. It felt slightly like going backwards since the length of the runs are shorter than what I was doing but the plan is written by a very experienced champion runner so I am just going to trust the program. It includes strength & stretch days, running days and cross training days.

Here is my schedule for this week:

  • Monday - strength & stretch, I am using the Nike Training Club app for these workouts and doing it at home
  • Tuesday - run 4.8km
  • Wednesday- crosstrain, I am doing kickboxing (eeek!)
  • Thursday - run 4.8km
  • Friday - bootcamp
  • Saturday - rest
  • Sunday - run 6.4km

Months and months ago I bought a groupon-y type thing for a kickboxing gym. I just realized it expires in April and it is for 20 classes so I decided to register and my first class is tonight. I am super nervous! It looks like it is at an actual kickboxing gym (as opposed to a cardio kickboxing class at a gym) and is seeming slightly intimidating but we will see!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

done 10k training

It has been awhile! We were housesitting at the in-laws for 5 or 6 days and our little schedule got thrown all off track...I did still do my running but the other regular routines of our life were switched about and the poor blog suffered. It was quite nice though, entertaining, doing laundry whenever we pleased, having a yard for our sweet dog Ivy, lots of space, a dishwasher and a whole new seawall to run and play by...On one evening walk we caught the most amazing sunset.

Arlo & Ben

Ambelside sunset

So, I have now completed the "Ease into 10k" plan and am researching what plan to do next to prepare for the half. The one I was intending to use seems alot easier than what I running now and it doesn't seem to make sense to go backwards so in the meantime I am adding a km a week to my longest run until I decide. Yesterday was my longest run ever! 11km. I wasn't happy with my time but that could have something to do with the fact that I ate ALOT of delicious bundt cake over the weekend. The recipe was from the Whitewater Cooks cookbook and it turned out really well.

Hello yummy apple bundt cake

I had such a great day yesterday! The weather played a huge role since Vancouver is so amazing when it is sunny, especially after a month of rain. I did my 11km run in the morning leaving the house in the dark and coming home when it had gotten light which I love. Then we headed to the park to meet our friends and I walked by some Kuerig coffee promo van and got a free coffee. On the way home I got a message on my phone that I had won 40 hours of free daycare at Buddings Children's Garden and Daycare from the Peak radio station! So great!! I can't wait to check it out. Then Arlo actually fell asleep for his nap after about 5 minutes which has not happened for the last month....please can this continue!  In the afternoon we headed over to check out Matchstick coffee roasters and the cute little strip of shops over by Fraser and 15th. All in all it was a wonderful day.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I ran a 10k!!!!

I am just heading back home from great weekend away and I can't wait to see my boys!! This is the longest I have ever been away from my little guy and while it was thoroughly enjoyed, I am so excited to give him a big hug and kiss.
My weekend included much laughing, yummy dinners, wine, an amazing yoga class, going to the movies and doing a 10k run! I was surprised that It was actually not very much longer than what I have been doing. We did a loop around a lake and the km's were marked so it was very satisfying to see the numbers count down as we passed. Now we I have week 10 to finish and then I will start the Hal Higdon half marathon training which will be 4 times a week instead of 3.
Besides the endurance I am starting to notice actual changes in my legs and feeling more muscular which is very motivating.
Another week down and it's practically February!