Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Adventures in training #3 - January recap & February Goals

Since today is the 31st and I will probably only do a little cardio at home tonight, I figured I would post today.  As I said in the last post, I joined the Y and began to swim at lunch.  I averaged about a 20 minute swim, and really only focused on getting used to lap swimming.  Honestly, I probably haven't swam laps since I was on the swim team as a kid.  So anyway...

The swim portion of the race is 0.62 miles, just shy of 1000 meters. The pool I am swimming is a 25 meter pool, so that breaks out to be about 40 laps.

My notes from this past month:

1/16 - 20 min swim, about 20 laps felt great, my arms feel a little like jello and I need to work on my form. This time I swam a lap, rested, swam, rested. I rested for only a few seconds and alternated between free and breast strokes.

1/18 - 16 laps, 15 min. I alternated between breast and free but I also used the kick board for about 4 laps, one to give my arms a break and two to work on my legs/kicking. I started late today so I wasn't able to swim as long as I would have liked.

1/20 - 22 laps, 20 min. I used the kick board a bit more today and tried to focus on my breathing. I must say I don't feel I go as fast when I use the board (I did about 10 laps with it.)

1/23 - dentist appointment so I wasn't able to get to swim. :(

1/25 - 20 laps (I think, mind was not in it) about 20 min.

1/27 - didn't swim, forgot T had a birthday party so I ran out at lunch.

1/30 - 26 laps, 25 mins. Swam more continuous. Alternated 6 laps free with 4 laps using the kick board.

I met a woman that was reading in between laps, I asked what she was reading and it was a swim workout.  A book that had 3 levels and mixed it up so you don't get bored.  I may check it out, granted I don't remember what it is called.


My goals are going to be about the same, swim three days a week at lunch. (With some cardio thrown in.)
I need to work on my eating habits, I have noticed on my swim days I am extra hungry and don't have enough to satisfy.  Which means I will grab whatever crap is laying around the office, not good.  I do try to have extra protein, but will still need to figure it out. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Soup

It is a snow weekend in my neck of the woods and for a while my neighbors and I have been talking about having a soup themed get together.  Well it has come and what a perfect, cold weekend it has been for some hot comforting soups.

I made Chicken Enchilada Soup, there was also a Ham and Bean and Potato Cheese.  My soup is very similar to my Chicken Tortilla Soup, there are just a few subtle differences.  You can make this vegetarian by using vegetable broth and omitting the chicken and adding more beans.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

1 small onion
1 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 cups chicken broth, I used homemade
1 10 oz can enchilada sauce
1 10 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
2 chicken breasts
1 10 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 10 oz bag frozen corn
1 can chopped green chilies
1 pablano pepper, roasted and chopped
2 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Chili powder
Lime Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional Toppings:
Sour Cream
Tortilla Chips

Chop onion and saute with olive oil in dutch oven until just translucent. Add garlic, chicken broth, enchilada sauce, and tomatoes.  Let stir and simmer until just mixed.  Add uncooked chicken breasts, cook in soup base for about 10 minutes or until cooked through and juices run clear.  Set chicken aside to cool slightly.

Add the beans, chilies, peppers, cumin and chili powder.  Stir to combine.  Shred or chop the chicken and add back to the pot.  Let simmer.  Add lime, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with the (highly recommended) optional toppings.
Notes:  This could be made in a slow cooker, I cooked it on the stove and let it warm in the slow cooker, but there is no reason you couldn't make the whole thing in the cooker.  Also, this freezes really well so you can make a big batch and freeze it for later.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Thoughts flow as my hands shake
Faint voices and buzzing in the distance
The pains shooting up my neck
Wanting to escape

Chatter around me getting louder
As my eyes begin to fill
Thoughts shift wanting a response
Hoping for a response

Rushing and wanting
The need seems never ending
Screaming in my mind
Wanting to be left alone

To be home with family
Laughter love
Hugs kisses

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mushroom Bisque

My mom brought me a lot of button mushrooms from her trip with my aunt to the Brandywine area of PA. So I was trying to figure out what I wanted to make with them, and after my request of ideas via social networking, soup was the answer. I looked online and in my cookbooks to try to find something that sounded good, and the winner was the mushroom bisque from my Moosewood Cookbook.

A little background on Moosewood if you don't know. The book I have is the 15th anniversary, New Revised Edition by Mollie Katzen; which means the recipes are a little lighter and use less dairy and eggs. The cookbooks are vegetarian and she also has a restaurant named Moosewood in Ithaca New York.

Now for the bisque... (side note, this could easily be made vegan if you wanted)

2 medium potatoes, I used russet
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 cups chopped onion
1 small stalk celery, chopped
1 1/2 lbs mushrooms, I used button
1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt
1 to 2 small cloves or garlic, minced
1/4 tsp thyme
3 Tbsp dry sherry
2 tsp soy sauce
Fresh black pepper to taste
1 cup milk, or soy milk
Minced scallions

Peel potaoes, chop into small pieces, and place in a small saucepan with water. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion and celery, and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and salt, cover, and cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Somewhere in there, add garlic and thyme. (Adding garlic later keeps its flavor stronger.) Remove from heat; stir in sherry, soy sauce and pepper.

Use a blender or food processor to puree both the potatoes in their cooking water and the mushroom saute in its own liquid. (When you run out of the liquid use the milk.) Combine yhe purees in a kettle or Dutch oven.

Stir, and heat gently; taste to adjust seasonings. Serve very hot, with optional but highly recommended toppings.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Adventures in Training #2 - January

I joined the Y.  I did it. Now I just need to go and stick with a schedule.  I have mentioned my plan to some people and they just look at me questioning.  Yes, I plan on going to the Y at lunch and swimming for at least a half hour. It takes me less then 10 minutes to get there if I walk, even less to drive.  So as long as a work obligation doesn't keep me at my desk, there is NO reason why this won't work. 

My goal schedule for the remainder of the month:

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday - Swim (30 min)
If I can fit in or just do one more day of cardio I would be really happy.

Along with the workouts, I am keeping a food journal so I can make sure I get the calories I need. I am going to post in the Adventures in Training, once a month as close to the first of the month as possible.

You can visit my food journal at http://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/diary/choy1280 if you would like.  Right now my calorie goal is at 1330 but I will be increasing it to at least 1500 once I figure out what I'm burning.

I'm ready to break free from these winter blahs...