Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Another Summer Tuesday

First, I found out yesterday (as I drove by) that Native Foods Cafe is coming to Denver! Woo hoo!  I know there is one in Boulder (Molly has been there!), but I haven't made it up there to try it.  Now, I can visit one in 10 minutes! It seems closer to opening than Trader Joes's, as they are still framing the building (I'll get a picture of it soon).

Back to today: Vanilla Almond Milk Yogurt with blueberries and cocoa dusted almonds.  It's like dessert.
Zumba: today was my current favorite instructor's last class. She made this one really count, and I was fully fatigued by the end.

Afterwards, I visited Whole Foods to pick up lunch before meeting a friend.

Dinner: Kale and pineapple salad with homemade poppyseed dressing and corn on the cob.
I have been having this dressing for nearly a week but with strawberries and kale.  I liked it just as well with pineapple.

See you soon! I hope you're having a great week!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Week Ahead

I thought I'd share a few pictures from a trip to Maine (a few years ago, so pre-blog), as our weather today is similar.  Upper 60s and low 70s, rainy and quiet.

Meanwhile, I will also I tell you about this week's workouts.

Sunday: 60 Minute Beginner & Intermediate Ride Class (It's in the same place as YogaCycle - just no yoga).  Completed this morning!
Monday: Zumba
Tuesday: Zumba
Wednesday: YogaCycle
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Zumba Toning (dancing - while hold weights.  I might regret this.)
Saturday: Rest or maybe. . . a hike. ?!?!

Speaking of hikes, I'm off now to celebrate my brother's birthday.  I've spoken to everyone but my father since "the hike", and while I've forgiven him and will speak to him - there won't be any plans to invite him to any future mountain excursions. ;)  

See you (with food!) on Tuesday!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Time to Buy a Bike

After breakfast, I met a friend for coffee and chat in a neighborhood I'd only passed through previously.  Apparently, I didn't see the "Street Sweeping Every 4th Thursday" sign a block away. $50 ticket.

Zumba class - she makes us work hard!  Lots of booty shaking and shoulder shimmy going on.

The Rockies had a day game, so I sat in traffic (the Zumba studio is in the same part of town).  

Last year, I went to Civic Center Eats a handful of times, but had yet to make it this year. I went and visited the Vegan Van for my favorite:
Planet Rock and Spicy Popcorn.

Almost had an accident (it should have happened - I was honestly blessed it didn't).

Dinner: Kale - Avocado - Potato Salad.

I am now accepting donations for "This Lady Needs to Only Drive a Bike" fund.  ;)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mellow Monday

Pineapple - banana - mango -spinach smoothie (1:1 almond milk and water for liquid) to start the day.

Late morning snack (YogaCycle class was at 1:30pm, and didn't want to eat lunch beforehand):
Flatbread (it's like three Saltines laid out side by side) and garlic hummus.

The instructor I had yesterday was subbing today's 60 minute class.  My legs felt especially tired during the spin portion, but the yoga session had a lot of leg and hip stretching components (more pigeon pose, ha ha!).  
Lunch: I prepared the "filling" before class to let the flavors marinate.
Half cup of corn, half cup of black beans, half of a tomato, two green onions, part of one jalapeno.

Avocado added at the final stage of lettuce wrap assembly:
I know it doesn't look like much.  But know that I tore up two more leaves of lettuce and added them to the remaining filling and ate it as a salad. 

Watermelon and cantelope pre-dinner.

Dinner:  Qrunch Quinoa Burger with BBQ sauce and broccoli, seasoned with Old Bay and nooch.

Due to 99 problems degrees outside, Remy and I spent most of the day indoors - relishing the air conditioning. These are the dog days of summer, right?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Food & Fitness

After yesterday's 5 miles of hard work, I found that movement hurts less than staying still.  With that in mind, I went to my 75 minute YogaCycle class and did well enough.  Let me just say: pigeon pose, while difficult, really stretched out my legs and hips.  More on this week's schedule in a minute.

I picked up some groceries from Sprouts.
HUGE avocados, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, limes, and bananas,
Almond Dream Yogurt in Vanilla and Coconut, broccoli, cucumbers, lettuce, green onion, carrots, kale and corn tortillas.

I have a few things left from last week that I'll be using up first  - minus the jalapenos, still haven't figured out what to do with them. Ha ha!

Back to fitness, here's the plan:

Sunday: YogaCycle (completed!)
Monday: YogaCycle
Tuesday: Zumba
Wednesday: YogaCycle
Thursday: Zumba
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

Why pack it all together? I'm taking classes when the instructors I like are teaching.  Friday and Saturday I will do something active, but it would be an "active rest" like a long walk (I think Remy would be ready for that by then).

What are your plans for the week?  Hope you've had a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

"The Hike"

(View from the parking lot)

I had found a Moderate Level trail, about 3 miles for myself and family members to traverse in Golden Gate Canyon State Park.  Once there, we walked about a quarter mile and found ourselves at the trailhead of a Most Difficult Level - my father insisted that we take it, because "35 years ago I hiked it, and it's a hike for wimps". 
(Black Bear Trail - elevation gain of about 1,000 feet throughout the 3.4 miles)
For the next two and a quarter hours - we went uphill.

I could feel and hear my heart pumping throughout the entire uphill hike - I definitely stopped quite a few times!
(A few nice views along the way)
(Oh look! More uphill - at this point I despise my father.)
(See where the road is located? That was our starting elevation.)
I should also mention, that we had to climb up several boulders - and the dogs had to do it, too.  Had I known that this was our fate, I would not have brought my 12 pound lap dog.
(We climbed up and around this one.)
Terra above, Remy below
My parents shared their water with me and Remy when I was out (I brought two bottles, which is enough for an easier hike)- but just after the halfway point, we had one bottle for four humans and two canines.  My parents consulted the map and discovered that if we finished the trail, we would join another trail (Moderate Level) - about 1.8 miles in length to get down (in addition to what we had already done).
(More boulders to climb)
The Summit:
Trail leaving the Summit:
(Climb up and over, and around.)
By the time we made it to the next trail, Terra refused to walk any further.  Can you blame her?  My brother had to carry her the nearly two miles down the mountain.

Four hours and almost 5 and 1/2 miles later, we were down.  My legs were destroyed (sitting, moving - it all hurts) and I was / am cranky.  I know what I can and cannot do, and while I am not shy of challenging activities - I need "tough but doable".  This defeated me; not once did I feel like "I can do this".

Will there be another hike (with family, that is - it's not recommended to hike alone)? I need some time to think about it.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you're having a great weekend.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

In a Hurry

I was moving slowly this morning - my last day of AP training.
Lunch provided:
Black Bean burger even had the carnivores smacking their lips; the veg-heads of the bunch won today.

Came home for a little bit before a quick appointment:

When I returned, I was hungry and wanted to make a fast dinner:
Veg refried beans & Daiya Cheddar burritos topped with green chile.

Luckily, it was a rest day for me - I knew it would be a busy Thursday!

Tomorrow, I return to my regularly scheduled summer lifestyle. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Half Way

I am officially half way through my four day Advanced Placement training.
If you look closely, you can see my notes through the first page. I must be using dark colored ink! Ha!  It has been informative, and I'm excited to work on the syllabus for my Honors World Literature class ( some of my titles: Julius Caesar, All Quiet on the Western Front, Things Fall Apart . . .).

Remy, on the other hand is not pleased to have me gone all day.  My neighbor (I've played with her pup a handful of times while she is on-call) is coming over once or twice a day to give him some human interaction.  She sent me this picture yesterday, with the caption "I think he misses you!"
Poor baby!  Apparently he thinks he can find me underneath the coffee table, on the rug.  ;)  Two more days, sweet pea - then I'll be all yours again!

On to the eats and the workout:
Teachers love coffee, so I may have had three cups throughout the morning (darn those caterers!).  The nice things about College Board (they run the AP program and the SAT) is during on-line registration, you can specify your dietary needs.  They have each option on a separate table! So, I checked in at the vegan table and here's what I had today:
(Not the best picture! Apologies! Networking while trying to discreetly take a picture of your lunch is difficult. Ha ha!).  That's a piece of plain bread in the far right corner.  Yesterday it was a cucumber, sprout and tomato sandwich (with a mustard packet) and chips.  


I signed up for a 75 minute YogaCycle class, which started at 7:00pm.  It was the same instructor as Saturday, but she increased the intensity during the cycling portion.  The yoga segment was similar to Saturday- more holding pose than flow.  I'm glad I didn't eat a full meal beforehand!

A very late dinner:
Avocado and tomato on toast.

And now, I'm off to bed! I hope you are well, and I'll see you on Thursday!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Haul, Vegan Van & The Week Ahead

The Farmer's Market this morning didn't have much that caught my eye, but I did pick up a few things:
Corn, garlic, jalapenos (impulse buy - no idea what I'll do with them), broccoli, and kale.

A trip to Sprouts yielded the rest of my groceries for the week (I have a few other items in the fridge I'll finish off, too).
Garlic hummus (2/$6), Baby Italian Boule, flour tortillas, flatbread.
Cantelope, watermelon, frozen peas, white onion, Go Raw bar, tomatoes.

As I have discussed with Shen on occasion, I haven't been to visit the Vegan Van in a while.  Today, I ended that streak.  I was there at the end of her brunch, just before 2pm and here's what was on the menu:
I selected the Wing my Bell with a side of tots.

It was good, but I don't eat seitan very often so I had half of the "wings" and will re-visit them later.

As you might have noticed, I've started talking about my workouts a little more - mostly for myself, because I need the accountability - but also, I know some of you might like to hear about classes or workouts I've tried.  Seeing as I labeled this blog "improvement", I should share more of my life outside of the kitchen - like fitness!  That said, I'll try to limit my workout blab to a few short statements each post.

Two blogs (Jess, Monica) I read make a commitment most Sundays to their readers as what will be in their workouts.  Now that I've worked back up to five days, here's my schedule:

***I have four all-day trainings for Advanced Placement classes, so no Zumba this week.
Sunday: Rest
Tuesday: YogaCycle
Wednesday: Tone It Up Workout
Thursday: Rest
Friday: YogaCycle
Saturday: Hike in the mountains

Ok, this was a long post - I'll end it here! I hope you had a great weekend!