November 24, 2009

Christmas came early!

Thanks to the wonderful last year model closeout sale, I was able to get a Cervelo P2C! Yeah!!! I have been eyeing this bike for a loooonnnggg time! I had to change out the saddle to make it more comfortable for the "parts," and will eventually switch out the wheels, but I just think it is a beautiful bike! Here's a pic of it on the trainer in our basement. I know the picture is not that great, but it's our workout space so it's the best I could do!

I finally got to ride it last night on the trainer for the first time. The weather in Denver has been cold and snowy, so unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to ride it outside until spring... :(. But, so far I really like it! My previous bike was a Specialized road bike with clip on aerobars. I love that bike b/c it was my first real bike, it is really comfortable to ride, and I've used it in all of my tris. But, I think I will grow to love this bike just as much. The aero position will definitely take some time to get used too...I better get going on my core workouts now!

I was able to get in a 30min. ride after we put our boys down for the night. It felt good to be back on the bike after being off the saddle for a month. I can definitely tell that I've already lost a lot of my fitness and stamina for riding aero. How does that saying go...building up muscle is like a card house, it takes some time to build up, but can be destroyed in a second...or something like that! Anyways, it's so true! I wish I would have kept up with my workouts after my half ironman a little bit more consistently. The good thing is I have all winter to build back up my base before I start training again. Now, to just find the motivation to get up at 4:30AM again when it's 20degrees out and snowing....ugghh!

November 19, 2009

Vegan-4-A-Day challenge post!

I saw this challenge on Eating Journey's blog and thought I would do a post for all of you out there new to vegan eating! Even though I am a vegetarian, we have moved to more of a vegan direction, so most of my meals are vegan! I've gotten some great recipes from some great cookbooks, but this recipe was actually from I love that site! It has recipes for just about everything! O-kay, here's the recipe:

Quinoa and Black Beans

*1 tsp. vegetable oil/vegie broth
*1 onion, chopped
*3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
*3/4 C uncooked quinoa (if your quinoa hasn't been pre-rinsed, make sure you rinse your quinoa well to remove the bitter saponins)
*1 1/2 C vegetable broth (I used a low sodium version)
*1 tsp. ground cumin
*1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (I used 1/8 tsp. b/c of my two boys!)
*Salt and pepper to taste
*1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used the unsalted version)
*1 C frozen corn kernels
*1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro (optional - I'm not a big cilantro fan, so I left this out and it was still really good)
*2 tomatoes, chopped

1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic, and saute untly slightly browned (~5min)
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper
3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer for 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans, cilantro, and tomatoes. Enjoy!

We ate this as a meal itself, but it would also make a great filling for a burrito, tostado, or just with chips/pita chips! In fact, for left overs tomorrow I bought some whole wheat vegan tortillas to do exactly that! :)

November 18, 2009

Mango-Ginger Tofu Delight

Last night for dinner I decided to make this recipe. I got it out of one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan With A Vengeance and modified it to meet the needs of our family. For instance, the recipe calls for a jalapeno, but that kind of heat doesn't work too well with a 4 and 2yr. old! It is one of my favorite meals...oh and my two boys love it too. You're going to want to press the tofu to get all the extra water out of it. I like to wrap the tofu in cheesecloth or paper towels, put it between two plates, then put a big book on top. This seems to work pretty well.

Once the tofu is pressed, to get the isosceles triangles cut the tofu into eighths (Cut tofu block in half, then cut each half in half, then each piece in half again...I hope that makes sense!). Then simply cut each piece along the diagonal to get a triangle! Viola! :)

If I think about it ahead of time I like to marinate the tofu overnight, but sometimes my day is just too crazy and the last thing I want to do after I put the boys to bed is make another dish. So, chilling the tofu for at least an hour before dinner works too. I like to serve it with steamed broccoli and brown rice, but you can use any side or rice of your liking. Sauteed chard or kale would be good too.


For the Marinade:
*2tsp. peanut oil
*3 cloves garlic
*1/4C fresh ginger, chopped (Or, I buy the jar of chopped ginger and use 2Tbl.)
*2 large mangoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
*1/4C maple syrup
*1C white cooking wine or vegetable broth
*2Tbl. rice vinegar,apple cider vinegar, or red wine vinegar
*Juice of 2 limes
*1C orange juice
*1/4 tsp. ground allspice
*Salt and pepper to taste
*1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)

For the Tofu:
*2lbs. extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed cut into isosceles triangles
*1 mango, peeled and sliced into thin slices
*1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into long, thin slices


Make the Marinade:
1. Preheat a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.
2. Combine the oil, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno if using, and saute' for 5min., being careful not to burn the garlic.
3. Add the chopped mango and saute' for 5 more minutes
4. Add the maple syrup and wine, cover and simmer for 35minutes. Uncover and simmer for 5 more minutes.
5. Add the vinegar, lime juice, orange juice, allspice, pepper, and salt; let cool, then transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Or, I use my immersion blender to puree it and it works great!
6. Place the prepared tofu in the marinade in a sealable plastic bag or lidded Tupperware container. Marinate for at least as hour or overnight.

Bake the Tofu:
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Reserve about half the marinade. Lay the marinated tofu in a single layer in a large rimmed baking sheet/pan and bake for 20 minutes.
3. Flip over the tofu and add more marinade.
4. Coat the peppers and mango slices in the remaining marinade and add them to the pan. Bake another 15 minutes.

5. Serve over rice with a vegetable side of your choice! Enjoy!

November 14, 2009

The joy of date night!

My son's preschool offers a "Parent's Night Out" every month and my husband and I decided to try it out. I honestly can't remember the last time we went out on a date together...pathetic, I know! It's just that we haven't found a neighborhood babysitter yet, and it's hard to invite a stranger into our home to take care of our two boys. The two girls that do the parent's night out are actually teachers at the preschool, so we felt pretty comfortable bringing our boys there.

I knew our 4yr. old would be fine, but I was pretty nervous about how our 2yr. old would be when we dropped him off. We tried to talk it up saying that they were going to get a special dinner, play lots of games, and watch a movie..yeah!! But, even as I was saying those things visions of him crying and clinging to my leg flashed through my mind. I really wasn't looking forward to it at all! But, when we got there they were just about ready to serve the kids dinner, so we just sat our boys down at the table, said our goodbyes, and walked away. No tears, no clinging, no second glances in our direction at all! As we drove away we glanced into the window and saw them happy as could be eating their dinner. It was great!

We got to our dinner spot, Hapa Sushi, and got seated right away. Even though we're vegetarian (almost Vegan), sushi is one thing that neither of us can give up. We love it and will probably continue to eat it for the rest of our lives. We ordered 5 rolls (yes, it's a lot, but we don't get to eat sushi that often!) and enjoyed a bowl of miso soup while we waited.

It was snowing outside and the miso soup was perfect, in taste and for the warmth it provided!

5 rolls later, with our bellies full, we headed to the theater for a movie.

He got to the theater just in time and got our tickets for Hangover. We had heard that this was a really funny movie, so we decided to see it. Let me just say that this movie was hilarious! We were laughing the entire time! It was the perfect date night movie. When it was over we drove back to the preschool to pick up our boys. I didn't know if they would be asleep or not (after all it was 9:30 and their usual bedtime is 7:30), but they were both awake as happy and content as can be! We drove home and put them to bed. What a perfect night!

We both agreed that we will definitely be doing this again! I think we both realize that we need time together, away from our boys, to reconnect and just enjoy each other!

So, here's a recap:
Preschool Parent's Night Out: $45
Sushi: $50
Movie tickets: $7
A perfect night out with my husband: priceless

Yes, that is a bit cheasy, but I can't help it!

November 13, 2009

Going barefoot and Triple Threat Scones!

I got up early today to do a quick 30min. run before my kiddos and husband woke up. We finally got a new treadmill (yes, I said "treadmill"). Our old one was always referred to as a "dreadmill" so I'm happy to say my run was actually enjoyable. It has a built in MP3 player with speakers so I was able to listen to my favorite tunes while I ran without worrying about headphones..yippee! :)

Oh, and here's the best part..I did the last 5 minutes of my run barefoot! After reading "Born To Run" I've been doing a lot of research about barefoot running. It just seems to make sense to me. While I don't think I'll ever be a true barefoot runner (let's face it, rocks hurt when you step on them!), I am interested in transitioning to a more minimalist running shoe. Anyways, I decided to take my shoes off and just see what happens. It actually felt great! I did notice my form change, in a good way, but that was to be expected. The only downside was that during the last minute I got some hotspots on parts of my feet. It felt like if I kept running I would eventually get big ol' blisters there, which I didn't want to do. So, 5 minutes ended up being the perfect amount of time to try it out. Eventually, I want to get a pair of lightweight trainers to transition from my cushioned shoes. But, they're just not part of our budget right now...maybe Santa will bring me a pair for Christmas! :)

I had some extra time after my run so I decided to make some scones for breakfast. The original recipe came from, but I modified it a bit to fit our lifestyle. They turned out super yummy! In fact, my boys (4 and 2)loved them and kept asking for more!

Here are the ingredients:
* 2C flour (I used a mix of white and wheat)
* 1/3C sugar
* 1tsp. baking powder
* 1/4tsp. baking soda
* 1/2tsp. salt
* 6Tbl. unsalted butter, frozen (I used the Earth Balance brand)
* 1/2C plain yogurt/sour cream (I use a soy yogurt called Silk Live!)
* 1 egg (We don't eat eggs, so I use a combination of 1Tbl. ground flax mixed w/ 3Tbl. water. Mix together and let sit for a couple of minutes)
* 1/3C dried tart cherries, chopped
* 1/3C dried cranberries, chopped
* 1/4C dried blueberries

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 400 degrees
2. In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a grater; use your fingers to work in buter (the mixture should resemble coarse meal).

3. Add in the berries

4. In a small bowl, whisk yogurt and flax mixture until smooth.

5. Using a fork, still in yogurt mixture into the flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid, but as you press, the dough will come together.)
6. Place on a lightly floured surface (I put it right onto my baking stone) and pat into a 7-8" circle about 3/4" thick.

7. Use a knife to cut into 8 triangles. Place them 1" apart.

8. Bake until golden, about 15-17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm! Enjoy!

November 9, 2009

5K fun with my boys!

I did my first 5K post half-ironman on Sunday! My husband was supposed to join me and push our two boys (4 and 2) in the jogger, but we were doing several remodeling projects and he decided to stay home to finish some of them up. Our house is in complete disarray and with two young boys that's not the best way to keep a house!! I decided to do the race anyways and push the boys myself. Now, during my half-ironman training I would often do short runs (30-45min.) while pushing my boys in the jogger. Although it was definitely harder to run while pushing 60+ pounds of weight, I was still able to do it because I was in pretty good shape. Yesterday however was the first time I had pushed the boys in the jogger in probably 2 months, so I was a little nervous about how it would go.

The race was at Washington Park, which by the way is one of the greatest parks in Denver to run at. I picked up my bib and timing chip and headed to the start. Panera was hosting a kids fun run, so I ran with both of my boys for a short out and back run. It was really cute and the boys had a blast. At one point Ronald McDonald himself ran next to us and cheered my boys on. :) Then, because I had the double jogger I positioned myself towards the back of the pack. I think the announcer said there were about 1500 people it was very congested during the first mile of the race. I was happy I had my BOB because I was able to go off-road and run instead of walking/running into the backs of legs with the stroller wheel (which I must confess I did a couple of times..sorry)!

After the first mile I got into my grove and felt pretty good. I was actually surprised about how easy it was to push the boys..that is until I came to the hilly parts. Those parts just about killed me! From my waist up I was practically horizontal trying to push the boys uphill, but I ran through it. Yeah! I finished the race in around 28min, which to me wasn't too bad considering I was pushing the jogger. It was nice to know that I didn't lose all of the fitness I built up for my half! Doing the race conjured up an urge to start training again and I think this week I'll start my "winter maintenance" tri plan...that is if we finish our projects!

November 6, 2009


So I've been reading a lot about the benefits of eating Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) and how it's one of the most healthiest grains you can eat. In fact, if you don't know much about it, here are some fun facts I picked up from
*Quinoa was one of the three staple foods of the Inca civilization. It was known then, and still is known, with respect, as the mother grain. We call it the "Supergrain of the Future." Nice!!!
*It contains more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for rice, 9.9 percent for millet, and 14 percent for wheat. This is great because as a vegetarian it's nice to vary my protein sources. Plus, quinoa's protein is of an unusually high quality. It is a complete protein, with an essential amino acid balance close to the ideal.

*Because quinoa is light, tasty, and easy to digest, it's easy on the stomach. It is not sticky or heavy like most other grains, and it has a delicious flavor all its own.
It is super easy to. In fact, a whole-grain dish of quinoa takes just 15 minutes. This is a lot less time than my brown rice (over an hour)!
*Quinoa can be substituted for almost any grain in almost any recipe. It looks and tastes great on its own, or in any dish from soup to salad. I can't wait to try it in different recipes!

So...I found this great recipe for Breakfast Quinoa with cherries, walnuts, and honey from I've only had quinoa as part of dinner, so I was anxious to try this out. Let me tell you it was quinoalicious. We usually make steelcut outmeat for breakfast, so this was a nice change. I will definitely be adding this to our breakfast repertoire! Yum-yum!

Here's how you make it:
* 1 1/3 C quinoa
* 2 2/3 C water
* 1 small apple, unpeeled, cored and cut into small chunks (I used a gala apple, but I'm pretty sure you could use any type of apple you have on hand)
* 1/4 C dried cherries
* 1/2 C walnut pieces
* 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
* 2 Tbl. honey, plus more for serving
* 1/2 C low-fat milk (I used soymilk b/c that's what we drink!)

1. Put the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under the tap.
***Note: Quinoa in its natural state has a coating of bitter-tasting saponins, making it unpalatable. Removal of the saponin helps with digestion; the soapy nature of the compound makes it act as a laxative....yuck! Most boxed quinoa has been pre-rinsed for convenience, but make sure you check before you make this! Mine was pre-rinsed so I skipped this step.
2. Put the quinor and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 5 minutes.
3. Add the apples and cherries and cook, covered over low heat, until the water is absorbed, about 10minutes.
4. In the meantime, toast the walnuts in a dry skilled over med-high heat, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant, about 2min. Allow them to cool, and
then coarsely chop them.
5. When the quinoa is cooked, stir in the cinnamon, honey, and milk, and cook for 1 more min.
6. Place into bowls and top with walnuts. You can drizzle additional honey of top if you like! Enjoy!

November 4, 2009

My first post..a little about me!

I thought I'd start my first post with a little info about myself. I don't normally like to talk much about myself, so I guess it's kindof funny that I'm starting my own blog. But, I wanted an outlet to share my adventures with other runners, triathletes, and moms and I thought this would be a fun way to do it! goes!
I consider myself to be a runner above anything else. For some reason I've always loved to run. It started in high school when I was part of a cross country team and my passion for it just continued from there. Even through college I continued to run, but it wasn't until 4 years ago that I really got into racing. That's when I had my first son and I needed something...some sort of get me motivated to lose the weight (40lbs..yikes!) that I gained with my pregnancy. I signed up for the my first half marathon and the Tri for The Cure sprint tri and started training. At first I was freaked out about how I would get all the training in, but it soon became a routine and something that
I actually looked forward to. Between work, being a wife, and being a mother, the time I spent working out was "my time" and it was great! After my first tri I was hooked, like so many other people become when they do their first tri, and I knew I wanted to make tris a part of my life.
Since that first tri a lot has changed. I had a second son and became a vegetarian. My father-n-law gave me a copy of "The China Study" and told me to read it. When I finished the book, my husband and I ate through the last of the meat products in our fridge/freezer and vowed to start eating healthier...not only for us, but for our sons too. Being a vegetarian was difficult at first, especially when we would go out to eat, but it has been a wonderful change. There are things that I miss, like yummy turkey sandwiches for lunch, but overall I don't really miss the meat. And, I don't miss that full feeling I would get after eating dinner, or the lack of energy I had. I love being a vegetarian and I think it has done wonders for my training. In fact, I just completed my first Half Ironman this past Semptember! Woohoo!
While the training was intense at times, it was all worth it when I crossed that finish line.
Now I'm somewhere in limbo, not really training for any big races (it's pretty snowy in Denver during the winter!), but trying to maintain my fitness for the next round of races! I'm thinking about attempting my first marathon with my sister this spring, but we'll see! :)