Sunday, December 25, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
|AHHHHmazing GFV Ice Cream Sandwich|
Pesto stuffed portabella mushrooms...I made the pesto in the Cuisinart. Lots of basil, olive oil, garlic, almonds, nutritional yeast...all pureed and mixed with vegan Daiya mozzarella cheese and stuffed into a cleaned out portabella mushroom and baked. Served them over quinoa cooked in No Chik'n Bouillon. Amazing meal!
I then used the Cuisinart again (it may be my favorite GFV appliance) to make vegan chocolate pudding. I then made almost a game out of it at work by making nearly every nurse taste it and try to guess what it was made out of (avocado). Only one nurse got it (go Jenny!). It was so, so yummy...really took care of any chocolate craving I could have possibly had...but small doses, because it's rich!
The above skillet concoction is a fair representation of how most of my meals for the week looked. Basically I just threw veggies and tofu into the skillet with whatever spices I fancied and possibly of soyrizo...and then plated it over rice, quinoa, or potatoes. Or maybe I was feeling adventurous and wrapped it in a corn tortilla (rice and beans are a fav...or my own GFV chili).
Cashew "sour cream" served over my GFV chili or portabella mushroom fajitas was a total hit! So much so that you can see the finger tracks through the bowl!
Not everything I made this week was from scratch. This banana bread was so simple. Just add some Ener G egg replacer, warm water, and 2 mashed bananas...and voila! Amazing, moist, fresh GFV banana bread straight from the oven. It's really, really good!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Going into this year I had so many lofty goals...and shortly after Palm Springs enduro weekend (first century ride on Saturday, half marathon on Sunday) I realized I needed a break. I never really took an off season or gave myself any time to just stop and breathe for a minute...I just kept hitting it hard and it all eventually caught up to me. So I stopped, cold turkey. I'm pretty sure I even had withdrawals. I raced only one other time this year and that was as the relay runner for the San Diego Triathlon Challenge...and I didn't even "race"...I just enjoyed the day with my best friends.
Work is also going to be keeping me busy as we roll into the new year. I can't even believe I've been on night shift for almost 2 years now. I can honestly still say I adore my job and I'm so lucky to be where I am. I am constantly learning and growing...and I'm surrounded by the most amazing team of nurses and doctors I could ever imagine. In January I will start taking classes for my CCRN (Critical Care RN certification test) and hope to take the exam by the end of Feb. This is a pretty big deal in the ICU community as it a daunting test that will really force me to buckle down and learn the core concepts of the human body as they apply to the patient populations I work with. I'm excited, nervous, and really ready for this challenge.
On the health front there have been some recent developments that have made me ponder my own decisions regarding my health and the steps I can take to ensure I stick around for a long time. Though I always considered myself basically healthy since I ate well and exercised a ton, a recent blood test revealed I had elevated total cholesterol, my LDL was high and my HDL was low. I wasn't entirely shocked as both my mom and dad have bad cholesterol. So I gave up milk (since it was bothering my stomach anyway) and tried to reduce my intake of red meats. Shortly after that I went to see my primary care doctor for a routine checkup. At the end of the appointment she told me she wanted me to see an oncologist (I'm currently in the process of moving all my personal healthcare from Naval medicine to my own insurance with the health group I work for as I feel I get much better continuity of care with them). I felt like this was coming out of left field but she explained with my crazy personal history and my awful family history of cancer that she didn't feel she could follow me adequately enough. So I was sent for labs and a number for an oncologist. Of course I stalled for a while...but I eventually got around to making an appointment with him. Once at the office I was told that my blood counts were abnormal (seriously?) so now more tests are pending...love the waiting game. It was also noted the my cholesterol numbers were still not normal (guess I didn't really lay off the red meat like I said I would). I also got a referral to GI to follow up on the years of stomach problems I've had an hopefully get some answers (I went gluten free over 2 years ago and that has helped immensely but hasn't gotten rid of all my problems). After these numerous blows and moments of clarity I realized I needed to make a drastic change.
This realization happened to correlate perfectly with my viewing of a movie/documentary called Forks Over Knives (www.forksoverknives.com). The entire premise of the film is the ridiculous links between the main diseases of the Western world (cancer, heart disease, etc) and an animal based diet. Numerous studies have shown that if people eat a plant based diet they can essentially halt and even reverse the spread or development of these diseases. After watching the film and doing a bit more research on my own I was convinced (of note my dad went vegan a few years ago due to health reasons and has completely reversed all his problems...hello proof!). Even Mike realized that a change was needed (this from the most self professed carnivore I know!). So I have now embarked on a new journey...veganism. And tomorrow (Dec 12th) is day one. I've been playing around with recipes for the past few weeks and sampling new brands and foods. I'm feeling amazing and not deprived in the least. I'm tracking my nutrition as testing has shown that I have a great metabolism and with lofty ultramarathon goals I can't afford to skimp on nutrition or calories. It's been touch and go but I'm finally dialing in the ability to hit my caloric goals (roughly 2200 cals on a good training day). I will be blogging alot about my adventures in vegan cooking and eating to be sure....should be a culinary blast!
I think that about wraps up my updates and it's officially time for me to get some shut eye...lots to do tomorrow (isn't that always the case?). Looking forward to getting back into the swing of training and learning how to adapt to a new life of alternative eating. :)
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The weekend kicked off in style with an easy 2 hour trail run with Bex...the run was a fantastic opportunity to discuss the goals for the year and talk about missed opportunities and learning experiences from the previous year and season...all in all it was a great soul-searching run that was more therapy then run...but 10 miles of dirty, hilly trails is always considered a good day. This is a pic I snapped at the top of the Sweetwater Reservoir...beautiful...
After I got all prettied up again the fam and I headed to the San Diego Zoo...we don't go there nearly enough and it really was nice to walk around and see the animals through the kids eyes...they really enjoyed themselves! So much so that I bought season passes for them!
The next morning, with my legs completely reminding me that it's been a while since my last long trail run, I woke up with the hubby to meet Bex and Jason for a bike/breakfast combo (so really this was my last day of chill workouts and I wanted to enjoy it!). We met out at Otay Lakes near the Olympic Training Center (talk about some motivation!) and rode first to the Broken Yolk Cafe for breakfast...so good! Ate some good food with some of my favorite people...
...then we headed out towards and into Jamul and back. It was really beautiful weather for a ride. The scenery was truly amazing and many times I realized I had lost any speed as I got caught up in the views. During one stop I just had to snap a pic...you can vaguely see Bex and J waiting for Mike and I just up the road...
...Great ride, great friends, great day! We also seem to have a fantastic sense of style and clearly exhibited this with our choice of footwear post-ride (which spins me into a future blog I think...but you'll have to wait for that one).
I had to work Sunday night...and it was a LONGGGG one...capped off by me losing my stethoscope as I chucked it aside to jump on top of a bed and give CPR to a patient...very dramatic really...and yes, the patient lived! Later that night the tech brought me my stethoscope all cleaned and nice...when I asked him where it was he looked at me quite puzzled and said he had found it in the sink! Hmmm...I don't know how to explain that one...let's just say I was more focused on my job then my belongings! Ahh...the many perils and triumphs of my job...again...more fodder for another blog...
Monday I slept later then usual since I was feeling tired and only had time to get a quick 30 minute run in with some hill repeats...also did some strength exercises while Addy played at the park...hey, you gotta do what you can!
Today was bike day...and also my meeting with coach Bryan to discuss the upcoming year. The ride started heading up Mt. Soledad...where I quickly took in the view before heading back down (this is a pic from a previous trip up the beast)...
We then headed down Nautilus and I was thinking I had gotten off easy...ummm...yeah....nope! We head back up Mt. Soledad the back route and still, miraculously, ended up in a place I love to hate...Via Capri (again pic from previous trip that does NOT do it justice!)...
After that it was a 1 hour run to top off the 2 hour ride...then lunch and planning sesh with coach to discuss the goals for the new year (another blog...again)...and tonight it's a 1 hour swim...holy moly artichoke...here we go!
Friday, January 7, 2011
It's a funny thing really...as I know that I have accomplished a lot...but my bigger accomplishments have been at shorter distances. It seems I can shut off my brain long enough to leave it all out there for a sprint or Olympic distance race, or a half marathon even...but put me out there longer and the demons begin to surface...and they aren't pretty. They first begin to whisper to me that I'm slow...so, so very slow...that others are passing me and I don't have a prayer to catch up to them...that I'm being left behind. They they taunt me louder that I don't have enough training...I didn't swim enough...I didn't bike enough...I didn't ride enough...I have too little sleep...too much on my plate to take this on...just give up now because it will be easier. Eventually as I try to ignore them...they shout...you are bonking...you have nothing left...how will you ever finish...you aren't going to reach your goal...give it up...you are nothing. Yeah...nothing. So there I am...out there alone (or maybe not alone but in my head I am in a totally desolate place)...no one can rescue me here...except me. As the years have gone on I have become more adept at quieting these monsters...but each new challenge brings more players to the table inside my mind...and they have new messages that I have to learn to intercept, rewrite, or trash...and it's a long learning curve.
So there it is...I guess 2011 is about shattering the perceptions that others have of me...and possibly the perceptions I have of myself. This year is about being more real...real about my abilities, my inabilities, my limitors, my strengths...and what I have to really work with. I have the capability to be fast, really fast...but I have to work hard at it. I am not that great at going far...and luckily this year isn't about distance...so when I attempt distance I need to give myself a break and possibly an out ;) I am a great runner, a decent swimmer (though I have let that slide considerably) and an evolving cyclist...but I am not perfect at any of them...and only mildly skilled at putting them together. I have challengies with my nutrition...and those are going to take a long time to iron out...but I am trying. I have a family that needs me...but I also need to have my time so I can be more present and in the moment for them. I have a full time, stressful, night shift job...I adore it with everything I am...but it take ALOT out of me...trying to flip and flop between days and nights leaves me exhausted and unmotivated...lots of work to do there too.
Basically I am a huge work in progress...but aren't we all?? What fun is life without a few challenges? But for tonight I am going to revel in my self imposed day off (sorry Bryan), drink some wine with my bestie and my hubby, make some plans, eat some candy (as I'm swearing it off on Monday) and just enjoy the moment...tomorrow is a new day...and a fantastic two hour trail run to boot...I'm ready to embrace the challenges, jump over the hurdles, and hang on tight...who's with me? :)