let it…snow?

Well.  I tried to be mature about this.  But waking up to snow this morning was not at all my cup of tea.

In fact, I felt like doing nothing more (or less) than griping and complaining.  And I definitely let out a loud groan as I turned the coffee maker on, which probably (most definitely) woke my parents up.  Yep.  Real mature.

But a girl can change her mind, right?

I slipped on my flats (because I absolutely refuse to wear Uggs in April!) and stood on the porch, overlooking the magic around me.  It was beautiful.  Everything.  Beautiful.  The snowflakes were large and melted on my face as I grinned up at the sky.  The world was asleep and I was completely alone.  Watching the snowflakes.  Life is so beautiful.

Dad walked into the kitchen and ate some breakfast with a mug of coffee.  And then we decided to head out for our morning run.  In the snow.  I felt like a little kid on my day off from school, running and splashing through puddles.  Fingers feeling numb from the cold.  Face feeling frozen.  This is what contentment feels like.

Happy Easter, everyone!  I hope that you are able to enjoy the day with the ones you love the most.  😀

QUESTION: How are you celebrating Easter this year?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sarah’s “Official” Half Marathon Training Plan

Week 1: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 2: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 3: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—2.5 miles

Week 4: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—6.5 miles (YIPPEE!)

Week 5: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 6: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—8 miles (We. Did. It! :D )

Week 7: 
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 8: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—9.5 miles (Feelin’ Good!!)

Week 9: 
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 10: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—11 miles

Week 11: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 12: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—12.5 miles

Week 13: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 14: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—14 miles

Week 15: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 16: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—HALF MARATHON RACE DAY


Advertisements

a plate of cabbage and kale

We are officially snowed in!!!

In case you were wondering, yoga in the living room was my workout choice this morning, vs. going out for a walk.  I decided that listening to the radio while doing downward dogs and sun salutations in my pajamas sounded just about right for such a morning. 😉

But I still pulled on my boots and went outside to enjoy a bit of snow.  Which, by the way, is already up to my knees—and still climbing.  There’s at least 18 inches out there.  Maybe more! 

All I can say is, thank goodness today was my day off.

And thank goodness Dad didn’t mind going out and snowblowing the driveway in order to bury us out of the driveway for tomorrow’s commute (thanks dad!)

Yoga + shoveling + plowing my way through snow = fabulous workout.

I decided that today was a good day to clean out the fridge, while putting any and all of those lingering ingredients to good use. 

I bought a head of organic purple kale last week at the supermarket, just because I thought it looked too pretty to turn down.  It’s absolutely brimming with antioxidants and nutrients.  I couldn’t bare to walk past it, and so it ended up in my cart.  And in my fridge.  Until today, of course.

Also in the fridge, I had a couple of carrots and some onions (there are always onions!), along with a thick slab of tofu and a lemon.  Off to the side—on the kitchen counter—there were some tomatoes.  I’m pretty sure that if kitchens could talk, mine would have been screaming—demanding?—at me to make a warm kale salad. 

It was very much meant to be.

I’m pretty sure that people get the wrong idea when it comes to things like kale and tofu.  If it sounds a little hippy—a little too “far out” for both your mind and your kitchen—then you simply must rethink these things and move on.  Daring to try something new.

Kale, when it’s made just right, is earthy and sweet.  Tender but firm.  It will take on a whole new dimension, as it soaks up the olive oil that is lightly drizzled on top.  And in the end, it will practically beg you to add just a splash or two of lemon juice.  Finally—at last—the warmed kale salad will reward your tastebuds with a delicious flavor that’s both simple and complex, making you forget all of those silly little things that you ever had to say about kale.

Tofu is another thing altogether.

Thankfully, just like kale, tofu has the possibility of rewarding you with a depth of flavor and a delightful texture as well. 

The preparation of tofu is key, I think.  More specifically, the pressing

Getting rid of every last bit of liquid that you possibly can, so that the texture becomes nice and firm.  So that it can soak up every bit of sauce or liquid that you decide to add to it.  So that it can brown and crisp at the touch of a hot nonstick pan.  Yes.  The art of tofu is in the pressing.

Side Dish: Roasted Cabbage

A delightfully warm meal to warm up with after trudging through the snow. 😀

I hope you’re all staying warm and safe today!!!

Warm Kale Salad

This makes for a delightful side dish to any entree, but it can also serve as a main dish in and of itself.  Pine nuts, walnuts, and beans would make for a nice addition as well.  This dish is simple but satisfying, perfect for a chilly winter afternoon. 

  • 1 head of kale
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1-2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • garlic powder
  • lemon juice
  1. In a medium sized pan, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add kale, stir, and lower heat to medium low.  Continue cooking until kale is tender but still slightly firm.  Add tomatoes, carrot, garlic powder to taste, and a few liberal splashes of lemon juice.  Lower heat to low and continue cooking until heated thorough.
  3. ENJOY! 😀

Simply Pan Fried Tofu

This is as simple as simple gets.  You can use any sauce that suits your fancy.  I’ve used peanut sauces, bbq sauce, and homemade thai sauces as well.  I’ve got to say though, soy sauce and garlic are one of my most favorite of combinations.  Sometimes you can’t mess with simple.

  • 1/4 a block of extra firm tofu, drained and pressed well
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • garlic powder
  • red pepper flakes
  1. Blot tofu well with paper towels to remove any lingering liquids. 
  2. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.  Place tofu in bowl, flip over and let it sit in fridge at least 1 hr.
  3. Heat a nonstick cooking pan over medium heat.  Spray with cooking spray, place tofu in pan, and cook until browned and crisp.  Flip and continue cooking until browned on other side as well.
  4. Serve and ENJOY! 😀

Roasted Cabbage

This is one of my favorite ways to prepare any and all of my vegetables.  Cabbage is no exception.  Enjoy!

  • 1/2 a head of cabbage
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat oven to 425. 
  2. Spray baking sheet with spray and set aside.  Slice cabbage into 1/2 inch slices and place in single layers on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through.  ENJOY!

Question: Do you eat anything now that you never in a million years would have thought you would *ever* enjoy?

that perfect afternoon

The weathermen aren’t always right, you know.

The expected 12-24 inches went off to other towns.  Other areas.  Namely, Boston, which I heard received about a foot and a half of fluffy white.

Here, we still received about 8-12 inches.  And I’m totally happy with that.  😀

Just enough snow to make everything look delicious and fresh. 

Not too much snow to keep me trapped indoors and off the roads.

That perfect amount.

Speaking of “that perfect amount,” walking in the snow provides a whole new level of working out. 

Mom and I threw on our hiking boots, donned our scarves and warmest jackets, and trekked our way across mounds of snow.  Four miles worth of taking two steps forward, one slippery step back.   It was such an old school way of going to the post office, just to mail a package.  But it was fun and productive, and it felt absolutely wonderful on the legs! 😀

By the time I came back, everything felt exhausted.  The windy gusts had knocked me around like a rag doll.  And my face was slowly—slowly—dethawing.

My appetite was ferocious.

And nothing but soup made sense.

Carrot soup is one of my most favorite of vegetable soups.

Maybe it’s because there’s not much to be expected from the humble carrot, and I like to prove a world of tastebuds wrong.  Most people think of raw, boring carrot sticks taking up space on the side of a plate.  Or carrot cake, which certainly does earn a high reputation, but that’s besides the point.

Carrot soup is where it’s at.  Warm, inviting.  Bright and savory.  Both nutritious and delicious.

It pairs as a lovely side to any salad or sandwich.  And since my appetite was throught the roof after a walk in the cold and snow, I took the sandwich route; my teeth felt like they needed to bite into something.

I toasted a simple lemon & dill hummus sandwich on some grainy Ezekiel bread slices.  A warm, satisfying meal.

That perfect amount of snow.

That perfect meal to warm up with after a chilly walk.

That perfect afternoon.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Herbed Carrot Soup—as seen in Moosewood Cookbook and on this website.

This is one of my most treasured, favorite recipes.  It’s simple to make and goes wonderfully with grilled cheese sandwiches or just as is with a couple of croutons and a scoop of greek yogurt.  I’ve seen some people eat it over a bowl of rice, transforming the “soup” into a “sauce.”  Whichever way you eat it, this warming recipe is simply delicious.

  • 2 pounds peeled, chopped carrots
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1-2 small cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  1. Place carrots, liquid, and potato into a medium sized soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer it for 12-15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  2. Saute the onion and salt in the oil for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and herbs until onions are tender (about 5 more minutes.)  Stir in lemon juice.
  3. Puree everything together in a blender until smooth.  Place back in pot and keep on low heat until ready to serve.  ENJOY!

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lemon Dill Hummus

A container of fresh dill was sitting in my fridge, with absolutely no purpose other than to look pretty.  And that is how this simple, savory spread was born. 

Lemon and dill are two flavors that always go well together, and hummus is no exception for this lively pair.  Enjoy this bright spread on crackers, sandwiches or salads.

  • 1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1-2 T. fresh dill
  • dash of cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a food processor, mix all of the ingredients together.  Taste and adjust seasonings as preferred.
  2. ENJOY! 😀

Question: Are you making any New Years Resolutions?  How far ahead do you start to plan them out?  What are some ways you make sure they’re successful (are they successful?) 

weekend post: snow, shopping, and silly hats

We had our first official snowfall last night!

A fluffy white dusting covered everything from head to toe.  Oh how I love this time of the year. 

In fact, I take back everything I said about not liking the cold; this morning I felt like a little kid in a playground.  And if it absolutely must be cold outside before we can enjoy a fresh new layer of snow—if there’s absolutely no way to skirt around the issue—then I’ll take the chilly 10 degrees.  😀

I love the way the thin, crisp layer of snow crackles and crunches under my feet while I’m running. 

Music to my ears.

I’m kind of loving winter right now.  I hope this feeling lasts a long, long time. 😉

Know what else I’m loving right now?

Shopping (and eating) with mom…

…and shopping with my bestie.

There’s something special about shopping with family.  They’re not afraid to say, “ugh, I don’t like that!”  And they’re also not afraid to say, “oh my word, you look awesome!” 

I love both of these gals to bits. 😀

You probably know this by now, but we tend to shop till we drop.   Today we shopped until we dropped after dropping.  This is dangerous territory.

This is the territory where you start laughing for no apparent reason at all.  Or crying.  Whichever comes first.

This is where you try on silly hats.  Or stare at people without realizing that you’re staring at people until they start staring back. 

Yes.  Dangerous territory.

(p.s. Silly or not, I kind of wanted this hat.  Just in a bigger size. 😉 )

It was quite the successful shopping day.  I didn’t leave with any new hats, but I did find a new winter coat that was more than half the original price.  And I purchased a couple of Christmas gifts for family. 

No Christmas Eve gift shopping for me this year!

And, most importantly, we had fun. 

Yes.  It was a very successful shopping trip.

Question: Do you have snow where you live?

Blue Skies Keep Smilin’

My muscles were sore this morning!  Not in a “I just hiked a mountain” way, but definitely in a “I pushed myself hard yesterday” kind of way. 

I was also starving.  Oats were a major must!

Today’s mix:

  • 1/4 c. each oatmeal and oatbran
  • 1/4 c. wheat bran (stirred in at end)
  • 1 c. milk + 3/4 c. water
  • 1/2 banana, sliced thinly
  • topping: 1/2 a whole wheat pumpkin muffin, scoop of peanut butter and shredded coconut

It was an especially yummy bowl this morning.  I love adding wheat bran…it really plumps things up! 😀

Nicole and I had a coffee + shopping + workout day planned for this morning.  Originally we had planned for a Tae Bo DVD, but there was a change of plans when the blue skies appeared and the sun came out.  How could we not go out for a wal to enjoy the fresh air? 

A walk outside sounded absolutely perfect. 😀

Nicole and I ended up taking a 4-mile, chatty-filled loop.   I love spending time with this girl! 😀

I love early morning walks.  They’re so refreshing.  Especially when there’s a fresh blanket of snow on the ground, waiting to be admired. 

Back at Nicole’s place, we contemplated what to have for lunch.  She started listing off some things that she had in the house, then suddenly she exclaimed, “You know what I’ve been wanting to try, ever since I saw it on Katie’s blog?  Sweet potatoes and nut butter!”  I practically flipped out with excitement (it doesn’t take much to get me incredibly excited :mrgreen: )  I’ve been dying to try this combo. 

(By the way?  I think adding grapes to my oatmeal has brought out a whole new wild side in me. 😉 )

We started with side salads and light ranch dressing, while waiting for the potatoes to cook.

Nicole took out some Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter, and we both topped a sweet potato with about a tablespoon of this sweet, nutty goodness.

Holy Moly Deliciousness!

We both thought it was awesome.  I almost felt as if I were eating candy.  I think I have a new favorite lunch planned for next week at school. :mrgreen:

When we stopped for a soy caramel latte at Starbucks this afternoon, Nicole convinced me to order the Venti.

Kidding.

Although I have to say that this cup could definitely find its way into my life.  How’s that for a morning cup of joe? 😀

Somehow I managed to fit in some homework this afternoon too.  I have a couple of case studies that I still need to finish, but I’ll probably fit them in tomorrow afternoon or Monday.  It’s been so nice having Mondays off from school, because it gives me a chance to still enjoy a weekend, knowing that I can catch up on assignments when I need to. 😀

For a homework snack, I peeled an orange and had a handful of pistachios. 

Dinner had its fair share of beginnings and endings.

It began with a toasted slice of homemade whole wheat and walnut bread (courtesy of mom…she’s such an awesome bread maker!) and a pat of butter.

It ended when I took a bite of my feta-topped, lentil and tomato soup.  I have never met a lentil I did not like, but this soup was beyond spicy!  My mouth was burning, as I guzzled my water down.  Intense!  When it comes to spice, I am such a wimp.

Needless to say, the one bite of soup is where it began and ended. 😉 Thankfully, Dad loved the soup, so nothing will go to waste.

Dinner began again, when I substituted with a super sized salad, topped with the usuals plus a big dollop of hummus and feta cheese crumbles.  This salad made up for the overly spicy soup. 😀

Dinner ended with another toasted slice of bread.  I finally felt full and content. 😀

Okay…this is when it officially ended. 😀

Snack, read, relax…I love Saturday nights! 😀

Question: Spicy Foods…love or hate?  I think you guys and gals already know my feelings on this. 😉  I can not take the spice!  Although I do like salsa, which is mildly hot, as long as I eat it with something. 😀