Archive for the ‘Cross Training’ Category

Challenge: Day 5

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Challenge: Day 5 started out well with oatmeal, green tea, and loads of errands to keep me busy. Out and about, I really wanted myself to a latte, which has become a very rare treat for me since I gifted my fully automatic espresso maker. The dilemma, in terms of this Challenge … how do I categorize a latte? I decided to consider it a serving of protein. It’s milk-based, after all, right? That seemed reasonable.

Breakfast, lunch, and a snacks were all strictly within my pre-designated portions. I had a great lunch, using the last of the leftover balsamic chicken and steamed vegetables.

Dinner, however, was a different story. I went to a foodie dinner party, so there were lots of delicious options that perhaps didn’t quite fit the spirit of my Challenge. However, how this Challenge helped me last night was that I was very mindful of my “cheats.” I paid special attention to the fact that they were treats, and I fully enjoyed responsible portions.

Success!

We are having a lovely and much needed rain storm today in Northern California, so I am taking advantage of this time to do a little cooking and prep for the week. I’ve got vegetables washed and ready to cook. I made a Fresh Tomato Fennel Sauce that I’ll use later in the week with some chicken for a Chicken Cacciatore-like dish. I will count this sauce as a vegetable.

Fresh Fennel and Roma Tomatoes ... recipe to be posted soon

I’ve also got a lovely piece of salmon ready that I’ll cook for dinner tonight, and a small piece of beef that I’m going to marinate with something (balsamic? coffee? mustard? rosemary?) and cook tomorrow night.

Now it’s time for a gym workout. I’ll post the Fresh Tomato and Fennel Sauce recipe later.

Challenge: Day 3

Friday, February 6th, 2015

I started my day with 30-minutes on the cycling trainer. My schedule today at work was packed and I had errands to run after work, so no gym visit tonight. By the time I got home, I was super hungry, even after a nice sample of some Naked juice at Costco. It was a mango-carrot blend and it was goooood.

Today was about snacking, really. I had frequent small snacks, just due to my schedule. My totals for the day:

* 2 1/4 cups vegetables
* 2 cups fruit
* 2 1/2 cups protein
* 1 1/4 cup carbs
* almost 1/4 cup healthy cheese and fats
* 1 tablespoons dressing (honey)
* 3 tablespoons nuts

I am just right on some categories, a little low on others, and over only on nuts. That’s OK as far as I am concerned, because it’s all going to pretty much balance out in the end. Once I feel like I have no flexibility to have a little +/- room, then it’s over. I’ll be eating just to meet the rules and not for enjoyment. I like food. I like good, healthy food. If I feel too restricted, it takes that pleasure away and then I feel deprived. That does not work for me.

For dinner tonight, I had some beautiful wild cod with fresh fennel, tomatoes, herbs de Provence, and toasted whole wheat bread cubes.

Wild Cod with Tomatoes and Fresh Fennel

5 ounces (by weight) of fresh wild cod, cubed (about 1 cup of cubes)
1/2 cup of diced fresh fennel (about 1/4 of a medium sized bulb)
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
pinch or two of herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon avocado or olive oil
slice of whole wheat bread, cubed (about 3/4 cup of bread cubes)
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare all of your ingredients. Heat a good non-stick pan to medium-high and add diced fennel. Saute a few minutes just to get a little color on it. Add the fish cubes and cook the fish a bit on all sides. You don’t really have to cube the fish, you could leave it whole. I just cubed it to see how much it would take to make it a cup, because that’s how things are measured on this Challenge.

Cook the fennel and cod a few minutes until the fennel softens a bit and the fish begins to cook through.

Add the tomatoes and herbs, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook on low for about 20 minutes.

The fish will be very flaky. The fennel and tomatoes will have softened and produced a nice broth.

While the fish is cooking, prepare your bread cubes. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan until it just starts to shimmer. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat with the oil. They’re probably not going to coat very evenly because there’s not much oil, but that’s fine. You’ll want them to be very light oiled and toasted.

To assemble, first place the toasted bread cubes in the bottom of your bowl.

Ladle the fish and vegetables over the bread cubes, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Admittedly not the most attractive meal I have made, but it was quite good!

Planning ahead is going to be critical for me to be successful in this Challenge, so I also started cooking tomorrow’s lunch tonight. I’ll have these cooked with hearty greens with some of the leftover chicken from last night.

Fresh crimini mushrooms to be cooked with chard, spinach, and kale greens for tomorrow's lunch.

Another busy day is ahead for tomorrow, so now it’s time for some nice warm peppermint tea with honey to help me sleep.

Challenge: Day 2

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Today’s Challenge was, shall we say, a bit more challenging?

I was hungry today. I was super hungry when I got home from work. My hope was to get to the gym in time for the spin class, but thanks to commute traffic and leaving work late, I missed the class by about 10 minutes. Instead, I tried 4 different aerobic machines at the gym tonight, did one easy set on the lateral pull down, and some stretching.

Today’s Menu

Breakfast (8am): 1 package TJ’s Steel Cut Oats & Quinoa
Snack (10:30am) : 1 cup carrots
Lunch (about noon): 1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup frozen cherries, 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
Snack (about 3pm): 1/2 cup chicken salad (made with non-fat Greek yogurt) & 1 cup cherry tomatoes (counting as fruit today)
Post-work out while cooking snack (about 8pm): 1 Baby Bel light cheese
Dinner (about 8:30pm): 1 cup skinless chicken breast (marinated in a white balsamic vinaigrette) and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, 2 cups steamed veggies (asparagus & green beans)
Daily cheat (with dinner): 1 glass red wine

So I figure this is about
* 3 cups vegetables
* 1 1/2 cups fruit
* 2 1/2 cups protein
* 1 cup carbs
* 1/8 cup healthy cheese (“light”)
* 2 tablespoons dressing
* 2 tablespoons nuts

I’m now enjoying a cup of mint tea with just a touch of honey after dinner. This satisfies my post-dinner sweet tooth.

I now feel completely satisfied food-wise – even after a 90-minute workout. I admit it was a light workout, I didn’t push too much, but I worked out.

Steamed Asparagus & Green Beans (2 cups)

Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Marinated in a White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Early this morning I marinated 2 large chicken breasts in about 2 tablespoons of a prepared White Balsamic Vinaigrette. I cut each breast onto 2-3 smaller pieces (for quicker cooking). These two cooked breasts worked out to be about 3 cups of chicken chunks. This is perfect, because leftovers will be critical in my being able to keep up with food prep for this Challenge. I don’t like processed foods, so I’ll want to cook pretty much everything from scratch. That will be one of my CyclingFoodie twists on this Challenge.

To prepare the chicken – I simply cooked the pieces of chicken breast in the marinade in a non-stick pan for about 25 minutes. First on high heat, brown both side of the chicken. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook about 20 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and tender. If you find there is a lot of liquid in the pan, you can reduce it a bit to make a little sauce. If you want to get fancy, you could deglaze the pan with a splash or two of white wine and make a very light sauce by reducing that. That would be a nice touch … maybe I’ll try that next time. I added a touch of balsamic glaze while I was reducing the residual liquid in the pan. That added a nice depth of flavor.

You can eat light and healthy, and still have lots of great flavor. I am lucky – I never really liked rich, heavy, creamy sauces. However, I do like flavorful and well-seasoned food.

While the chicken was cooking, I cleaned, trimmed, and lightly steamed my vegetables.

To serve, place the hot vegetables in a nice bowl, top with 1 cup of the chopped chicken, and drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, if desired.

 Enjoy!

A Two Workout Kinda’ Day

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

I got some stuff done this morning and then went to the gym. My New Year’s present to myself was a membership to a new gym. I’m looking forward to some spin classes soon, and enjoyed a gentle yoga class one night last week. I’m trying out new machines, some old favorites, and this is a good thing because cross training will help to make me a stronger cyclist.

But I’ll never stop loving riding my bike, so when the day went from cloudy and cold to sunny, what else was I to do? Even though I had a good workout at the gym this morning, I had to ride.

Tower Bridge, Sacramento

Enjoying some unexpected sunshine this afternoon.

Rain, finally!

Monday, December 8th, 2014

We have finally been getting some rain here in Northern California and I am loving it! It does interfere a bit with cycling, but the air is cleaner, fresher, and far more breathable. I am fortunate enough to have access to a fancy Compu-Trainer, elliptical, and treadmill so I am getting at least some exercise.

The rain has held off this weekend, so I was able to get a short ride in yesterday and a longer ride in this morning. Cool temperatures and very little breeze made for a pleasant ride on the American River Bike Trail.

The rainy weather is calling for some serious comfort food.

Cream of Tomato Soup

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Probably not the healthiest dinner, but sometimes comfort wins out and that’s OK. It’s not entirely unhealthy, though. I always add my little touches that help ease the guilt a bit … organic, lower-sodium cream of tomato soup … whole grain bread … just a touch of butter in the pan, mixed with a touch of olive oil to give a nice, flavorful crisp the the bread … a combination of cheese that included at least half reduced fat cheese.The trick is to use just enough full fat cheese to give a touch of the ooey-gooey melty cheese thing that people love about a grilled cheese sandwich.

So, that was Friday night’s dinner … after what felt like an unusually long week.

Saturday … the sale I’ve waited all year for! The Meyer Factory Outlet Sale!! I haven’t been to this in years and I had planned to go last year, but I missed it. It’s running until December 15th – if you need any kitchen stuff, now is the time to stock up. Check out their website and you can download a coupon for an extra 30% off. Go ahead – splurge on your inner foodie.

After some shopping and errands, I grabbed a quick late afternoon ride yesterday. The weather cleared up and it was gorgeous!

Tower Bridge

River heading towards Downtown Sacramento

Last night’s dinner was a bit healthier – a spicy beef stir fry with asparagus, green beans, and mushrooms, served over brown rice.

Spicy Beef with Asparagus, Green Beans, & Mushrooms with a little extra chili garlic sauce

This was super easy to make. Simply marinate some thinly sliced beef in a bit of soy sauce, white white (or dry sherry), fresh minced garlic, Tiger Sauce, a little honey, and a little sesame oil. I didn’t measure … just go by taste. Whisk together these ingredients and then taste before adding the raw meat. Next time I make this, I will add some chili garlic sauce or Sriracha sauce. I wanted it spicier!

Clean and trim your vegetables. Be sure to cut them into consistently sized pieces so that they’ll cook evenly. Heat up your wok with a little avocado (or peanut) oil. Quickly stir fry the mushrooms, then set aside. Next cook the asparagus, then green beans, setting aside. Remove the meat from the sauce and set the sauce aside. Cook the beef a few pieces at a time so that they’ll cook quickly. Remove from the heat and set aside, repeat until you’ve cooked all the meat. Pour the reserved sauce into the pan and heat quickly, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat, add the meat and vegetables and toss to combine. Cover for just a few moments to heat through. You want the vegetables to be crisp-tender, so be careful to not overcook.

Serve over brown rice and if desired, add a splash more hot sauce.

Be sure you make a BIG batch, because it makes for terrific and easy leftovers. Enjoy!

Now it’s time to turn the Christmas lights on and enjoy a Christmas movie to get in the spirit. This week I’ve got to get started on my holiday baking.

Suggestions? Requests?

Finally – A Little Rain!

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Raindrops on branches and ...

Northern California is having a record dry year. We had ZERO rain in December, and finally yesterday we just had our first January rain. The air this morning feels moist, clean, and delightful!

We have some serious rain catching up to do. The next 10 days are forecast to be a mix of sun, clouds, and rain. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some cycling in, but if not … walking, hiking, and gym time will have to do. I’m looking for a new gym, a trainer, and a new routine to help me get ready for the 2014 cycling season!

Balloons Over Wine Country

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Along the bike trail ...

Yesterday was an absolutely glorious day for outdoor activities. I saw dozens of cyclists on the trails, but I did not have a bike with me. I did, however, have a camera and I was at least able to get out for a couple of nice walks and enjoy some lovely scenery.

Hot air balloons are a common sight in Northern California Wine Country, and they were out yesterday morning. It was a calm, sunny, but chilly morning. Maybe someday I’ll try a Hot Air Balloon adventure …

Balloons Over Wine Country

 

Coming down for a vineyard peek ...

 

heading back up ... and now closer ...

The wires! Watch out for the wires!

A lovely pop of green in the vineyards!

Looking North towards Healdsburg

This photo doesn't quite capture the way the sunlight made this horse's coat glisten. I should show this to my hair guy!

Well, I am back in Davis today with a huge to-do list so I had better get to it!

Blog. Ride. Chores. A little work catch up. More chores. Get caught up on some recipe stuff.

I have to get some longer rides in very soon. The 2014 Napa Valley Tour de Cure will be here before you know it! This will be my 6th Napa Valley Tour de Cure – if you would like to donate to my ride, please click here. I am far from reaching my goal this year, so please consider making a donation. It’s a great cause and every bit helps!

Hiking in Napa

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

This was a Klein kind of day.

This  morning started out with a quick ride in Davis. I got about 20 miles in and got home before the winds picked up too much, but they definitely added a little work to my ride. I planned it so that I did get a lovely tailwind on the way home, so it was well worth it.

Today I got to hike with a friend at Skyline Wilderness Park in Napa, California. It was a perfect day for a hike – loads of sunshine, clean air, and just a hint of chill in the air that warmed quickly as we worked our way up to Lake Marie. After hiking, a home cooked dinner at a friend’s in the hills of Napa.

I think this was a pretty good way to spend the last Saturday of my vacation. Hiking will be great cross training for my Napa Valley Tour de Cure! Please consider sponsoring my ride – proceeds benefit the American Diabetes Association.

On our way up to the lake.

Lake Marie

The rules ...

Hmm ... perhaps a group picnic next time?

I hope you had a wonderful Saturday and got to enjoy some great time with family and friends.

Quick Ride, Then Hike

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

It is a beautiful, blustery, chilly morning in Davis. The air quality in Davis is much better this morning – so thankful! I got in a quick 20-mile ride this morning and will be hiking later with a friend. Have a great day – I hope you get to enjoy some fun exercise today!

March Madness, Day 24

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Today 85.5 miles. I am now at 60% of my goal of 750 miles for March Madness. I highly doubt that I will be able to ride 300 miles this week when I will be working every day, including Saturday, leaving only next Sunday 3/31. Oh, well.

Hiking the Training Hill in Auburn, CA

Saturday it was too windy in Davis for me to ride. I probably should have just driven to the Napa Valley to ride the Tour de Cure route (or part of it at least!), but I went to Auburn and hiked with a friend. I haven’t seen her in a long time and it was a nice change of pace. I do need to do more cross training.

Today I rode from Davis to Winters to Vacaville to Pena Adobe Park and back to Winters and Davis. I hate to admit, but I could not get all the way up Cantelow today, either. I rode stronger up most of it today than I did last week, but I stopped at about the same place as last week. This concerns me. The Tour de Cure is just 6 short weeks away and I had to walk up that last little bit of Cantelow. I don’t understand it. I feel like I am riding stronger on the flats and rolling hills, but why can’t I climb a hill I’ve climbed dozens of times before? Am I really losing my ability to climb, or am I just not used to the “compact” and different gearing on my new bike?

It was a beautiful day for riding, lots of sunshine and not too much of a breeze. I saw a few familiar faces out there on the road.

On my way out, stopping for a quick water break in Winters. Thank you, Steady Eddy's in Winters for having a clean restroom, some shaded tables, and nice cool water for cyclists!

Feeling completely & utterly defeated at the top of Cantelow.

43.7 miles ... a quick water and snack break at Pena Adobe.

About 57 miles ... Lake Solano Park.

I am hoping to ride evenings after work this week … that will add a few miles to my March Madness and a little more Tour de Cure training.