Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Adventures in Training #4 - February recap & March Goals

February was NOT a good month for me, mostly because I got sick but also work interfered a little. Granted if I was actually able to get to work on time, maybe this wouldn't be as much of an issue.  But I have made up my mind that even if I have to stay until 6, I am swimming!  Not 100% sure how my husband feels about that, but I know he is being supportive. 

I am thinking of doing a 5k training program, I got an email from BWC talking about their training schedule.  Even though I don't feel I really need it, it is $25 to be held accountable one evening a week for 8 weeks.  It doesn't start until May so I have some time.  I figure I will stick with swimming for the most part through March and as the days keep getting longer and warmer I will start doing more outside. 

Like it or not here are my notes from this past month:

2/1- 22 laps, 20 mins. Mostly freestyle with a couple laps of breast. Only 6 laps with the board, mixed up just regular kicking and froggy. (this workout actually left me sore, my shoulders really feel it!)
2/3- had to work though lunch so I could pick up T.
2/6 - got sick Sunday and stayed home from work today.
2/8 - stayed home Tuesday too, not going to push my self today. Went to work but didn't do anything. Hopefully Friday I will be up for a swim.
2/10 - nope still sick, left early to go to doctors.
2/13 - feeling a little better, not swimming again today. Wed I hope to get back!
2/15 - OK. Made it to the Y, I really only used the kick board because I am still snotty. (side note: if you are snotty and swim, there is a good chance your sinuses will drain...) I swam for about 20 minutes and didn't keep track of the laps.
2/17- nope
2/19 - took a 2 hour hike/walk with the family
2/20 - nope (work related)
2/22 - nope (work related)
2/24 - needed to work through lunch to pick up my boy.
Ugh!!! This has NOT been a good month so far!
2/27 - I made it...I swam for about 20 minutes. I did all free style, about 18 laps.  It felt good. 
2/29 - Leap Day! At least I am finishing the week on a higher note then the middle of the month even though I didn't swim, but I did do some Insanity!  So I feel OK with that.

Hopefully March will be a better month, I am going to continue to swim and hopefully do more outside.

On a side note...trying to workout and have a family isn't really that easy, how do people balance it all?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vegetable & Tofu Stirfry

When your child doesn't want to eat meat, substitute it! This recipe was great because my son helped make the dinner, which made him excited to try it, and he got to try something new. I choose certain ingredients that I new he could help with. He broke the green beans into small pieces, pulled the broccoli into florets, and took the caps off the mushrooms and tore them in to smaller pieces. He did this while I cut up the squash and tofu.

My little helper
Fresh Green Beans
Fresh Broccoli
Yellow Squash (I used yellow for color)
Shataki Mushrooms
Green Onions
Firm (or Extra Firm) Tofu
Sesame Seeds
Sesame Oil
Peanut Oil
Hosin Sauce
Soy Sauce

Jasmine Rice (I used Trader Joe's Thai Jasmine Rice, Frozen)

Stirring the Veg while tofu cooked
This is really a recipe that doesn't use measurements, it is all about taste and how much you want to make. So here it goes as we made it... Drain tofu, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, place on a towel to remove extra moisture, set aside. Meanwhile, start preparing the vegetables, cut into bite size pieces. Start heating about 2 tablespoons each of the sesame and peanut oils, in a large skillet. Toss the tofu with about 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds. Once the oil is hot, add the tofu and cook until golden brown on all sides. Once the tofu is finished, remove from pan and place on a towel to remove any excess oil.

Add the broccoli and green beans to the oil and cook until starting to get tender, add the squash and mushrooms. Stir until coated with the oil and cook everything to crisp tender. Once the vegetables are cooked, mix in about 2 tablespoons (the magic measurement) of the hosin sauce and about two shakes of soy sauce. Add the tofu and green onions and toss to coat. Serve over rice.

My Plate

He wanted me to take a picture of his plate too.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Brown Sugar Banana Bread (and muffins)

I have been trying to base my diet on a Low-Residue Diet (LRD), this usually is a temporary thing for me and it is to help with my colitis. But lately I have been trying to find ways to be on the diet and not lose flavor. So what is a LRD?
A low-residue diet is a diet in which fiber and other foods that are harder for your body to digest are restricted. Fiber is made up of plant material that cannot be completely digested by the body. High-fiber foods include whole-grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, and raw or dried fruits.
Eating a low-residue/low-fiber diet goes against what nutritionists tout as a healthy way to eat because it severely limits fiber intake and other important nutrients. A low-residue/low-fiber diet usually stays away from grainy, nutty foods that are loaded with fiber.  (
I also stay away from dairy, heavily spiced foods, and as much red meat as possible.  It is a very limiting diet, and frankly I am glad it is usually temporary!  I try to make sure anything I eat has less than 1 gram of is difficult.  Especially when it is so ingrained to eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables.  So I have been do some research and finding combinations that are flavorful and work well with the LRD.

The first thing I made was Brown Sugar Banana Bread out of "Eating for IBS" by Heather Van Vorous.  There are a lot of things in this cookbook that would really good but it is written for IBS not IBD, there is a difference.  Anyway, to the bread...the recipe makes two loaf but I only had one loaf pan so I mad one loaf and 12 muffins.

Brown Sugar Banana Bread
(Adapted from Heather Van Vorous)

3 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 egg whites (I used egg beaters 100% egg whites)
1/3 cup canola oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 1/3 cup brown sugar (I used Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)
1 Tbsp Vanilla
3 cups mashed ripe bananas (6-8 bananas)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift the first four ingredients together in a large bowl.  In a seperate large bowl mix together the remaining ingredents until creamy.  (I left a few banana chunks since I like banana peices in my bread.) Pour into greased pans, bake 50-60 minutes (for loaf), only about 20-25 minutes for muffins. Cool. Extra freezes well.

*If you aren't following any special dietary restrictions...walnuts and/or chocolate chips would be really good in this! 


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Meatless Monday: Simple Meatless Pasta

This is a light and fresh pasta dish using vegetables that looked good simply roasted.

1 pint cherry or other small tomato
4 small peppers
4 cloves garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper
about 1/2 box linguini
parmesan cheese to taste

Preheat oven to 350, cut vegetables and toss lightly with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast for about 30 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook the pasta.

Once the pasta and vegetables are finished cooking, toss the pasta in the pan with the vegetables. Add pasta water if needed. 

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and additional salt and pepper if needed.

As an option you can add seared scallops.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

 Cupcakes for Valentine's day...what's better than extra chocolaty super moist cakes? Not much, but with an added fresh strawberry frosting, de-light-ful!

The chocolate cupcakes were my sons choosing, I signed up to make cupcakes for his Valentine's day party at school and when I asked what kind, he eagerly said "Chocolate!"  So that is what I did, I was also thinking of making cake pops, but he didn't like that idea.  The cake was the easy part and semi-homemade but finding a frosting that wasn't too sweet was another.  I have found that a lot of kids my sons age (2) seem to just eat the frosting and only a little cake.  So I made mini cupcakes, and decided on a cream cheese frosting with strawberries...sweet but not too sweet.

For the cakes:

1 package of Devil's Food cake mix
1 large box (5.85 oz.) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350, prepare muffin tins with liners or spray.

In a large bowl, sift together the cake and pudding mix. Mix in the sour cream, oil, eggs and water until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into the cupcake tins.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool slightly in pans before removing to a cooling rack.

For the Frosting:

1 pint strawberries
8 oz. cream cheese (I used the lower fat)
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 cups cool whip (optional)

Puree the strawberries using a food processor, add the cream cheese and butter. Mix well.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Because of the liquid from the strawberries the consistency was slightly more runny, and not in a bad way. So if you want to thicken it up to a pipable consistency then add cool whip to your desired consistency.