Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Weekly Review

Hope everyone is doing well!  I’m a day late with my weekly wrap but better late than never.  The week went well for the most part but we had some unexpected travel come up at the end of the week.  Here’s the summary.

Monday - planned rest day

Tuesday - Body Pump with a 15 minute warm up on the elliptical

Wednesday - Treadmill run after work

Thursday - body pump video at home

Friday - three mile easy run

Saturday - 7 mile run with 4 miles at half marathon pace in the middle.  This was tough!

We also went to a local convention and enjoyed checking out everyone’s costumes.  Plus I picked up a couple Star Wars things.

Sunday - unplanned rest day since we had to fly down to Atlanta

I also worked from home Thursday and Friday last week since the gas company needed someone at home to change our pipe.  So I had lots of kitty time :)

This week has been going ok.  We’re flying home tomorrow and camping on the weekend.  So here’s the plan for the week.

Monday - 3 mile easy run (done)
Tuesday - 4 miles with 2 miles at half marathon pace (done)
Wednesday - rest day and flying home
Thursday - 4 mile easy run
Friday - 4 mile easy run
Saturday and Sunday - running and yoga

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Eggplant "Bacon"

We got another eggplant in our hungry harvest box last week.  And it's too hot to go with the eggplant chili we've made in the past.  So I wasn't sure what to do with it but inspiration struck when we were at Taylor Gourmet (a local sandwich shop) before the Janelle Monae concert last week.  They had a veggie sandwich with crispy strips of eggplant and it was sooo good!  So I decided to try to recreate it at home.  I looked up eggplant bacon recipes and used one from the Minimalist Baker as a starting point.  You all, it was amazing!

Here's my version of the recipe.
  • 1 medium eggplant 
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp tamari
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • Hot sauce to taste 
Pre-heat the oven to 225 (or 250 if you want it to be crispier).  Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

Slice the eggplant thinly (I used a mandoline set to 1/8 inch). You definitely want to make sure the eggplant is sliced thinly and evenly if you want it to crisp up.

Whisk the rest of the ingredients together to make a sauce.  You'll probably have extra sauce left over, I bet it would be great on tofu too!

Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking pan and brush both sides with the sauce.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  It should crisp up more as it cools.  My first batch was at 225 degrees and had a lot of sauce on it.  It was more chewy than crispy.  My second batch I was stingier with the sauce and cooked it at 250 degrees.  It crisped up nicely.  But both were really good.  Mike actually preferred the chewier version with more sauce while I preferred the second version.

The original recipe claims that they'll be good for 5 days in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer.  I was going to freeze half but Mike actually liked it so much that he decided to put it on his lunch sandwiches this week (along with his usual meat and cheese).  And I'm using mine on sandwiches for lunch with sriracha mayo, tomatoes and slaw. 

Does it taste like bacon?  I have no idea.  But is it delicious?  Absolutely!  I knew this one was a keeper since Mike was skeptical of the experiment at the start but then asked to have some for his sandwiches :)  I'm sure we'll be making it again.  And while it did take some time for the eggplant to cook, most of the time is while it's in the oven so you're free to do other things. 

 I'm linking up with Deborah and Sarah for Meatless Monday.

 Jalapeno Quinoa Lentil Slaw

Monday, July 23, 2018

Weekly Review

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Things went pretty well for me and though I had to move things around and do some double workout days, I got all my planned work outs in.  Here's the details for the week.

Monday - 30 minutes on the elliptical plus body pump.  It was a new release this week and it was really tough, especially the lunge section.  But thankfully, I didn't experience a lot of DOMS.

Tuesday - Planned rest day

Wednesday - Speed work in the morning.  1 mile warm up, 2 miles at half marathon pace, and 1 mile cool down.  My first mile at half marathon pace was slow but it was also net uphill.  The second mile was on pace.  So I think it averaged out ok.

Thursday - Unplanned rest day

Friday - I moved Thursday's easy run here and got it done on the treadmill before body pump.

We also went to the Janelle Monae concert Friday evening.  I had been looking forward to this for a long time and it didn't disappoint.  It was an amazing concert and she put on an amazing show.  But more than that, it felt really life affirming and it just felt like there was a lot of love and kindness in the air.

Saturday - Unplanned rest day.  Well, it rained all day.  I actually got up early to run because the forecast the day before said it wouldn't start raining until later.  Then it said it would clear up around 10am so I figured I'd wait until then.  Nope.  It was a cut back week with only 2 miles on Saturday and Sunday so I just decided I would combine it into a 4 miler Sunday morning.

Sunday - 4 mile run.  I got up early to get this in before it rained and thankfully the weather held out.  In fact, it didn't start raining until the afternoon but then it really poured in the evening.  The poor cats were pretty freaked out and Shelby wouldn't come out from under the bed.

So those were my workouts last week.  This week looks like it will be more rain but fingers crossed that it will work out for my running dates.  Here's the plan for this week.

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - Body pump
Wednesday - Morning speed work (3.25 miles with 1.25 at 10k pace)
Thursday - Easy run after work
Friday -  Body Pump
Saturday - 3 mile easy run
Sunday - 7 miles with 4 miles at half marathon pace (!)

 I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday Five - Goals Update

I hope everyone had a great week!  I've realized it's been months since I joined the Friday Five so I'm excited to be joining up again.  It's a wonderful link up hosted by Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness.  We're more than half way through the year so I'm going to check up on my goals again and see how things are progressing.
 Friday Five Linkup 2.0

1.  1. Sub 3 hour half marathon - Well, my running related goals have hit an obstacle due to the tendinitis I was dealing with earlier this year.  My Spring half marathon ended up being a DNS.  But I still have a half coming up in October.  And the Nationwide Columbus half marathon is nice and flat.  I'm just going to be diligent about training and see what happens, but I don't want to push too hard and risk injury again.

All smiles after my PR half from December 2016 

2. Get back to body pump - This has been going well!  Again, a little bit of a set back because the doctor had said no body pump when I had the tendinitis but I've been going again and really enjoying it. 

3.  700 miles - I'm behind on this but still hope that I can make up the difference on the back half of the year, fingers crossed.  I'm only at 250 miles so far and I should be at more than 350 by now.  So we'll see what happens with this one.

4.  Read more non-fiction (6 books) -  I've read 2 and am working on a third, so I think I'm on track for this one.  I read a Mindy Kaling biography and a book about cat evolution.  I'm currently reading a book that's speculating about the future of humans but this one is taking me a while.  Part of it is because I keep getting distracted by fiction but part of it is that this one just isn't interesting me as much as I thought it would.

Image result for homo deus

5.  Cook more at home -  I've been better about this as well.  Getting the Hungry Harvest box is really helping.  It kind of forces us to cook since we have fresh produce being delivered to the house every two weeks.
Roasted vegetables from a dinner party earlier this year

So that's the progress on my goals.  Several of them were impacted by tendinitis but we'll see what happens the rest of the year!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Weekly Review

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Ours was pretty relaxed, which was definitely needed.  And as far as the work out front last week, I got in all my runs but only 1 strength training session instead of 2.  Here are the details.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - unplanned rest day since I wasn't feeling well.  I slept through my alarm and actually went home from work early.

Wednesday - morning run, 3 miles easy

Thursday - 40 minutes on the elliptical and body pump

Friday - Speed work in the morning - 1 mile warm up, 1 mile 10k pace and 1.5 mile cool down.  We also went out for dinner and saw Antman and the Wasp Friday night.  I really enjoyed the movie.

Saturday - 3 mile easy run (I was definitely sore from body pump Thursday and speed work Friday).  The rest of Saturday was some errands and cleaning but mostly relaxing.  It was wonderful!

Sunday - 6 miles.  This was a fun run since I was able to meet up with a friend for it and it was on a pretty paved trail that I like.  The only downside of the trail is that it's downhill on the way out (yay!) but uphill on the way back.  Or course, I forgot to take any photos.  #bloggerfail.  We also volunteered at a local Farmer's Market for a couple hours doing voter registration and afterward we went to brunch with old friends we hadn't seen in a while.

So those were my workouts last week.  Here's the plan for this week.

Monday - Body Pump
Tuesday - Rest day
Wednesday - Morning speed work (4 miles with 2 miles at half marathon pace)
Thursday - Easy run after work
Friday -  Body Pump video at home
 Saturday - 2 mile easy run
Sunday - 3 miles

 I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

San Francisco Trip Report - Part 2

I'm ready to finish my trip report from our June trip to San Francisco.  Part 1 covered most of our time in San Francisco.  So this post will cover our last day in San Francisco plus our time in Napa Valley. 

Tuesday - We had an early reservation for the ferry over to Alcatraz Island.  There was a sign that said all of the slots for the day were gone so definitely reserve in advance if this is something you are interested in.  We got to the ferry dock 30 minutes in advance and the line had already started for our 9:30 departure.  The boat trip itself was pretty quick, maybe just 10 minutes.

There were a couple options on the island.  There were special tours with in-person guides about the military history of the island and there was an audio tour with headphones about the prison itself.  That seemed to be what most people were interested in and that's what we wanted to check out to.  So we followed the crowd walking up the hill to the old prison building.  It was pretty crowded already and we were on the second boat that had gone to the island that morning.  So if you want to minimize crowds, definitely go early.

The audio tour was really well done.  The narration was good and they had added sound effects for extra depth.  But it was also pretty sad.  And weird to see people posing and smiling for selfies in such a somber environment.

After a couple hours, we took the ferry back to San Francisco and took a lyft to the Mission district.  We were pretty hungry so we stopped at a random taqueria for lunch and then walked over to the mission.  It was really cool to see it and learn about its history.  It's the oldest building in San Francisco and was there since before the city built up around it.  It's also where the only cemetery in San Francisco is.

This is what the land around the Mission looked like when it was first built

We also enjoyed walking around the area and checking out the street art in the Mission District.

After that, we walked over to the Castro for fun shopping and relaxing with a drink.  It was cool to see it all decked out for Pride, which was the following weekend.

And that's mostly it for Tuesday.  We were pretty tired after all that walking around so we went to the room for a nap and we just had dinner at the restaurant in the hotel that evening.  We did go out for a little bit after dinner to check out Union Square and hit up a random bar for a drink, and we also saw the cable car turn around on our way back to the hotel.

Wednesday - This was our day to drive up to Napa.  We started out the morning at the Ferry Building for breakfast since my mom wanted to try the vegan donuts.  They were so good!  After that we went to the railway museum since it was nearby and free.  It was tiny and didn't take long at all but we got some fun photos and cool souvenirs.

After that, we packed up and got in the car to head to Napa.  My mom was with us and she doesn't drink alcohol so we didn't do any wine tastings while we were there but we still had plenty to do.  About an hour from San Francisco, we hit the city of Napa and made a stop for lunch at Oxbow Public Market.  They had a place that had a vegan pizza offering and also a taco place that had multiple veggie taco options, that could also be veganized.  And lots of fun little stores.  We enjoyed browsing as well as an olive oil tasting.  We bought a jalapeno olive oil and a mango vinegar that we've been enjoying at home.

After that, we went up to our hotel in Calistoga, at the north end of Napa Valley.  So I think it took maybe another 45 minutes to get there.  It was a nice hotel with a natural hot spring on site.  The pool was actually fed by the waters from the hot spring and it was really a fun experience.  We spent some time at the pool in the afternoon and then got ready for our dinner at a nearby restaurant, SolBar.  This dinner ranks up there with one of the best meals I've ever had.  It was amazing.  Their menu doesn't look that vegetarian friendly but I called them in advance and they had a separate plant based menu. We also had a seat on their amazing patio, and that atmosphere was just perfect with impeccable service.  I would highly recommend this place to anyone in Napa Valley.

Thursday - The other nice thing about the hotel was it was really close to town.  So I got in a nice run in the morning and explored the main street of the town while it was still pretty empty, and then met up with my dad for a 5k walk.

We had leftover donuts for breakfast and then went to the spa for massages.  What a relaxing way to start the day!  After that, we met up with my brother and sister-in-law for lunch at the hotel restaurant.  They also didn't seem to have too many vegan options but were able to make up an off menu cous cous and vegetable dish for my mom that she said was amazing.

After lunch, it was time for another nap.  You can tell that Napa was the relaxing portion of our vacation!  And then we got ready for the wedding.  It was held at this really cool castle/winery.  Again, the service was really great.  They gave tours of the castle and winery and then we all went in for dinner in the main room.  They had a stuffed zucchini for the veggie option and it was delicious!  There was some dancing in the wine cellar after dinner and then off to bed.

Friday - This was our last full day in California as we were flying out Saturday afternoon.  That meant we had to make our way back towards the airport.  We started out with breakfast at the hotel restaurant and some more pool time.  We then checked out and went back toward San Francisco.  We hit a couple sights on the way, a local geyser and a petrified wood forest.  They were both fun little stops but I wouldn't recommend going out of your way for them.

We went back to the Oxbow Public Market for lunch and Mike and I also stopped at the distillery at the market for a tasting.  The guy did a great job of explaining their different products and we really enjoyed the tasting.

We were staying in Oakland that night since our flight our Saturday was out of the Oakland airport.  We had another amazing vegan meal Friday evening at Millennium.  It was super crowded and we have to wait quite a while in spite of our reservation, but once we got seated the service was great and the food was delicious, and came out quickly :)  I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone in the area.

So that was our trip to San Francisco!  We had a great time and it was a nice mix of on the go touring in San Francisco and relaxation in Napa.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Weekly Review

Hope everyone had a good week!  I'm happy to say that I got in all my work-outs, despite some travel snafus :)  It helped that the heat wave we've been having broke and we had some pleasant weather over the weekend.  Here are the details.

Monday - strength training at home

Tuesday - unplanned rest day (but I got this run in later in the week)

Wednesday - Morning speed work (1 mile warm up, 1 mile at 10k pace, 1 mile cool down).  We also had a couple friends over for 4th of July grilling in the evening.

Thursday - Rest Day and traveling for work.  I still managed to get almost 14,000 steps with all the airport and hotel walking.  It helps that the hotels I had meetings at were giant.

View from my hotel room

Friday - Woke up early and managed to fit in my easy run from Tuesday plus 30 minuted of strength training in the hotel gym.  Which helped with spending way too much time at the airport Friday evening trying to get back home.  It was 2am before I finally got home but at that point I was happy to just be there!

Saturday - 3 easy miles

Sunday - 5 mile run

So those were my workouts last week.  Here's the plan for this week.

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - 3 mile easy run before work
Wednesday - Body Pump
Thursday - Speed work on the treadmill after work
Friday -  Body Pump
 Saturday - 3 mile easy run
Sunday - 6 miles

 I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.


Monday, July 2, 2018

Weekly Review

It was a so-so week when it came to working out.  But there were lots of things going on this week so I'm happy I got in three runs and 1 strength training session.  I had two evening meetings and in addition to that, a friend was unexpectedly hospitalized and I spent an evening visiting with her.  Thankfully she's better and out of the hospital.  But here are the details on my week.

Monday - Planned Rest day.  We had local primary elections this week and I was helping out so we had a meeting Monday evening to set up the polling station.

Tuesday - Unplanned Rest day - I had meant to get up early for a run but it didn't happen after the meeting Monday evening.  And I was back at the polling station Tuesday evening to assist with the voting process and tearing everything down once the polls were closed.

Wednesday - Treadmill after work - I moved Tuesday's run to Wednesday and skipped body pump.  It was a 3 mile easy run.

Thursday - Morning speed work - 1 mile warm up, 75 mile at 10k pace, and 1 mile cool down.  I woke up early and got this in before work so I could visit my friend in the evening.

Friday - Body Pump video at home

Saturday - 3 mile easy run in the morning plus attending a rally/march later in the day.

Sunday - Unplanned Rest Day - I had meant to do 5 miles this morning but my feet were swollen when I woke up.  So I skipped this run to make sure it wasn't anything serious.  They went back to normal after icing and keeping them elevated most of the day.  I think it was just from standing/walking out in the heat Saturday afternoon.

So those were my workouts this week.  Here's the plan for this week.

Monday - Rest day
Tuesday - Afternoon easy run on the treadmill and getting off work a bit early
Wednesday - Morning speed work and a day off
Thursday - Rest day and business travel
Friday -  Strength train in hotel gym before flying back home
 Saturday - 3 mile easy run
Sunday - 5 miles

 I'm linking up with with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap.