Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Moo, I say. Moo.

Today's exercise: 10 laps around the park (allegedly 1/3 mile per lap) as follows: walk 1, run 2, walk 1, run 2, walk 1, run 2, walk 1. Plus walking to and from the park, total workout time was about 45 minutes. Ankles are still a bit sore from Sunday's run and yesterday's yoga, so I took it a bit easy. Here's me, about to head out for my run. It was very overcast when I left.

I've discovered that the yoga teacher on Monday afternoons is not such a good match for me. I can't exactly pin down why, but I found myself wanting to look over my shoulder at the clock to see how much more we had. There's one more instructor on Friday afternoons, and I'm hoping to check him out this week. However, if the Wednesday afternoon fellow is the only one that works out for me, I'll be fine taking yoga just once a week.

Here's what I cooked last night. 2-Bean Stir Fry.
You'll need:
Coconut oil
1/2 Tbsp Grated ginger
1-2 cloves garlic, minced (which I didn't have, sadly, but you should)
1 onion, sliced
Two big handfuls of green beans, ends trimmed, and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 C edamame (I used frozen, which I boiled in water in the microwave)
Tamari, soy sauce, or salt to taste

Over medium heat, saute the onion in the coconut oil to your liking. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a bit. Add the green beans, saute for a minute, and then cover the pan to steam for 5 mins (this just helps the green beans cook.) Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the green beans are browned and cooked to your taste (whether you like them more crisp, or more soft). Add the edamame and tamari sauce and mix well. Serve over brown rice.

I got the idea of coconut oil from Emily. (Scroll halfway down the page to the big picture of green beans.) Coconut oil has a very high percentage of saturated fat, so you don't want to use a lot of it, but a little bit is all it takes to give food a wonderful, rich flavor.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Here's what I brought home this morning from the Farmers' Market: strawberries, green beans, leeks & broccoli (pesticide-free); avocados (organic); and olive oil from the ascolano variety.

As a Buddhist, one of the qualities I should cultivate in my life is that of generosity. This means all kinds of generosity: giving of money, time, emotional support, or even being nice to the other drivers and letting them in during awkward, traffic-ridden spots on my commute. However, sometimes that last one can be less than beneficial.

Yesterday morning, I was enjoying a lovely bike ride down along one of the canals leading to the ocean. I have to ride along some major streets close to CSULB in order to reach the entrance that takes me off the beaten path. There are a few traffic lights, and one difficult T intersection. However, since it was early on a Saturday morning, there were few cars about.

I reached the T just as a car was coming up on the right. It stopped well ahead of me, so I stopped and waited for it to turn left across in front of me, poised and ready to ride on after it. Instead of going, the driver decided to wave me forward, thinking he was being kind. Well-intentioned as it was, because I had to wait so long for his move, I lost balance on my bike and had to totally stop, set a foot on the ground, reseat my other foot on the pedal, and then restart.

On the way home, I reached the T as a car was stopped across from me. I was just turning right, so I wasn't necessarily going to cross any traffic, but still, the nature of traffic signs and right of way dictates that I should fully stop, and anyone else who was stopped before me should go first. Besides, I couldn't tell if the car across from me was going to go straight through the intersection or turn left, and possibly swing across into the bike lane that I was turning right into. However, this car was hesitating--I could tell that he was waiting for me to go, even though I didn't want to move until I knew what he was doing. So some negative words came out of my mouth, to express my frustration. I eventually just turned right and started up the street, and the car eventually turned left after me.

Certainly, there was no harm done in either of these situations, but it seriously frustrated me. If one comes to a situation dictated by right-of-way rules, I think it is much easier for all parties concerned (drivers and cyclists) if those rules are followed. Cyclists adjust their pedaling when coming to a stop sign so as to lose as little momentum as possible. I would personally much rather have a car take the initiative and move when the opportunity is rightfully theirs--what I am expecting them to do--than force me to wait for them to think that it would be nice to let me go ahead.

So, gentle reader, are you a cyclist? If so, what are your thoughts on this?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Water weight

I read an article recently on the importance of hydration during prolonged exercise, and even during normal, everyday activities. The article addresses overhydration, rather than dehydration, and women are more prone to it than men. Anyone knows that it's no fun to exercise with a stomach (or bladder) full of water, but hydrating too much can dilute the blood to the point of danger. Once during massage therapy school, a girl in the class fainted due to low electrolyte levels.

Just to see, I decided to weigh myself before and after exercising this evening. My workout was not very strenuous: 2 miles running, 1 mile walking, plus warm-up and cool-down. Took 43 minutes. Temperature was somewhere in the 70s, with normal humidity and a light breeze.

I lost nearly a pound. 13 oz of water evaporated from my body. To recover this, I need to drink 1 2/3 cups of water. Not too bad. I definitely don't need to chug down on my liter-sized Nalgene bottle. It will be interesting to check this again, once the summer heats up a bit more, and I'm running more vigorously.

I'm cooking Emily's Black Bean Burgers this evening as a test run for the 4th of July pool party. I crunched the numbers to discover that they have 195 calories per burger. Plus, if you will excuse the expression, a s#!tload of fiber. :)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Best Face Forward

Last Wednesday, I partook of a 30-minute facial at the Indulgence Day & Med Spa near my house. It was my first one ever. Being not so girly in general, and afraid of what too much treatment could do to my sensitive, easily-reddened skin, I'd just never been very inclined to receive a facial. However, it was a very good experience, and it could turn into a monthly thing.

One thing my aesthetician was adamant about was washing twice a day, and at each of those, washing your face twice. She has the same oily, breakout-prone skin that I do, and her experience and education taught that the first washing takes care of the layer of oil, and the second wash actually clears the dirt from one's skin. Then you apply toner (which I don't) and moisturize as usual.

So, for the next month, I will be conducting this two-wash, twice-daily face cleaning regimen and seeing if there is any significant difference in the condition of my skin. I am rather fond of the cleanser that I have right now (Avalon Organics lavender facial cleansing milk). Yes, it's for dry to normal skin, but I like to maintain that I have sensitive skin first, and oily skin second, because the cleansers for oily skin seem just too harsh for me. I actually started this washing procedure last Thursday, and so far so good.

My eating habits have been very lax over the past couple of weeks. Way too much snacking, not enough real food. I've got a pool party in two weeks, so it's definitely time to tone back up. I'm scheduled to run tomorrow, and I'm going to try out a local yoga studio on Wednesday. I'll keep y'all posted to how that goes.

In other news, confession time: I have see the A-Team movie twice in less than two weeks, because I have a huge crush on Sharlto Copley. I'm going to get on Google and see if I can find out how tall he is.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wine & Cheese

Threw a wine & cheese party last night in honor of my sister, who was in town visiting. Had a pinot grigio, a chardonnay, and a rioja, plus a merlot that we didn't get around to opening (there were only 4 of us!)

To have a unique vegetable offering, I decided to make kale chips. I may have misjudged the 15 minutes of cooking time, because when I pulled them out, they were decidedly brown and starting to smolder around the edges! However, there were a couple that still had some green bits, so we gave those a try, just to see if the experiment was worth repeating. It was. So now I'm going to try again, and check the kale starting at 10-12 minutes.

Fabulous finds at the Farmers' Market this morning: pluots, white nectarines & peaches; broccoli, cauliflower, & red cabbage; and 5 varieties of beets! I was in the market for melons, but it's too early in the season yet. I'm very excited about the beets. A recent issue of Vegetarian Times has some beet recipes to try: cooked and mashed in brownies, raw and grated in beet slaw, and gently roasted in plain ol' delicious roasted beets.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lazy Wednesday

Lazy because I only ran 2 miles instead of 3. Here's my list of excuses: I was thirsty, it was later than usual, I didn't want to overdo it and pull a muscle before the race on Saturday.

One of my hopes is that I keep running at least twice a week even though I'm not training for a race. Or perhaps I should say that I'm training for whatever race comes along, that I just decide to do. One thing I definitely need to start doing is other physical activities. Get back on my bike, do some weights, give yoga one more try; that sort of thing.

I was all set to take some pictures of fabulous foods, but discovered that my camera was all out of juice. So batteries are charging. I can give you a preview, however. Roasted mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini! Something secretly frozen! A very small glass of wine!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Tonight's run: 3 miles in 31:13. I'm going to have to pare down over a minute if I'm going to run the 5K in 30 mins. I've got...let's see...10 days until race time. Technically, my goal is just to finish, and to run the entire thing, but my inner goal is to run it in 30 minutes or less. At least I'm doing better than I'd feared: halfway through the 8th lap around the park, I figured my time for this evening would be more like 32-33 minutes. Considering I hadn't run in over a week, I figure I'm doing okay.

During my afternoon walk break around the block at work, there was a guy whistling and making uncouth noises across the street. Since I wasn't wearing my glasses, and couldn't deign to turn around in any case, I didn't get a look at him. Why do men (read: idiots) do that? I think to myself, if a guy approached at a respectful distance, no matter how crazy he looked, and sincerely said, "you're beautiful" and left it at that, I'd probably be smiling and sassy for the rest of the day. However, if any man, no matter how handsome, decides to come on to me by leering and cat-calling, he doesn't have a whelk's chance in a supernova of receiving anything but withering scorn in return.

Cooking lentils right now. My body has been very timidly yet insistently asking for more protein the past few days (if I'm reading the signs correctly), so I'm going to give it lentils. Plus tomato sauce for some vitamin C to help soak up the iron. Always remember that combination!