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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Weekly Recipe: Vegan Gingerbread Cake

Another delicious vegan recipe for you just in time for the holiday season. I made this on Christmas for Chema and I to munch on as the other goodies were not vegan friendly. It was great because we didn't have to buy any ingredients! We even had some crystalized ginger in the cabinet!


Vegan Gingerbread

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups pastry flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup molasses
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup rice milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and set aside. Sift flours, baking powder, and soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. In a separate bowl blend oil, molasses, brown sugar, and rice milk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add wet mixture. Don't over mix. Stir in ginger. Pour in pan and bake 40-45 minutes until done.

This recipe seems a lot more high maintenence than it is. I didn't bother sifting the flours because I don't have a sifter or a collander small enough. My cake came out perfectly fine. I used cake flour because I ran out of all-purpose flour. I assume that's the same as pastry flour. My cake came out perfectly fine. We ate this in 2 days flat! Try it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Debate/Discussion: Gummy Vitamins




Have you seen them? They were originally marketed as an "easier" way to get kids to take their vitamins. 

When I was a kid I had to take chalky, Flintstones, chewable, vitamins with my oatmeal (and cod liver oil capsules). They didn't taste great although I did enjoy the shapes of the Bedrock clan! 

These gummy vitamins are delicious! They taste just like candy. I had to look closely at the bottle. Just to make sure my brother hadn't filled an authentic vitamin bottle with gummy bears to trick me! No, the bottle clearly states that you take two a day and it will provide you with your daily vitamin intake.

There are even gummy vitamins for adults. My mom takes a multivitamin and some extra calcium in the form of a gummy. Yes, those two are super delicious! The calcium ones are square and dense and just yummy! I could eat the entire bottle but you are only supposed to take two a day.



DEBEATE/DISCUSSION: DO THESE GUMMY VITAMINS "WORK"?


I use the word "work" for lack of a better term. But what I'm getting at is do these vitamins really contain what they say in the bottle or is it just a lot of sugar? Is a gummy vitamin really the best way to take a vitamin? All that sugar can't be good for your teeth, for example. 

Then again, maybe any way you can get kids to take vitamins is the "right way"? If that's the case, then why make gummy vitamins for adults?

On the other hand, even the vitamins I take say that the statements haven't been scientifically proven...So if you take that view, gummy vitamins aren't any less authentic than the pills.

Maybe I'm just one of those people who thinks that if it's too good to be true than it probably is. Although that's strange for me because I'm not a pessimistic person.

Perhaps I'm being a little over analytic after watching Food Inc. last night (please watch this movie!). For those of you who've seen it, you know what I mean. 


I'm just really picky when it comes to food and health in general. I take anything I hear "with a grain of salt."

For a long time I never took vitamins because I didn't really trust them. I do take a multivitamin now and that's mainly because I'm vegan and highly active. At this point in my life I feel like it couldn't hurt.

I've also suffered from anemia in the past. So I know that it's hard to get all the nutrients we need from foods. I'm not against vitamins and I'm not really against gummy vitamins either. It's just amazing that something that tastes like candy is good for you!

My family is in love with vitamins. I mean my mom alone has practically ALL of the B-vitamins, calcium, folic acid, iron pills...you name it, she takes it. So seeing them around isn't new to me. Like I said at the beginning, I used to take them when I was a kid.


I don't know, what do YOU think? Have you ever tried gummy vitamins? Do you take them now? What are your opinions on them? What are your opinions on vitamins in general?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Weekly Check In

Saturday Long Run

I went running on Saturday so that I wouldn't have to on Christmas Day. My task was 18 miles. The experience was NOTHING like last week. I ran it in 2 hours and 30 minutes, so that's about 8 1/2 minutes per mile. That's really good considering it was my longest run to date.

As I've mentioned before I don't like to eat or drink a lot while running because it upsets my stomach. This time I took some of those Extreme Sport Beans for energy that I bought at the half marathon race expo

I took one pack 30 minutes before heading out and then another pack when I got back. It says on the package to take it with water. About halfway through my route (mile 9) I took half of a GU. 

I felt great, especially after the run. Sometimes I feel really weak but this time I felt fine and I didn't eat until about an hour (or more) after runnng. 

This will be my marathon strategy for energy. The marathon is so early (it starts at 630am) that I doubt I will want to wake up 3 hours ahead of time just to eat. That's how long it takes me to digest enough to get ready to run. 

So I will take a pack before and then take the beans as I need during the race. To carry the beans I'll probably buy one of those shirts for cyclists that has pockets in the back. I think that'll be more comfortable than running with a belt.


Sunday

This was a rest day. I planned to do some light exercises and stretch but there was a lot going on. So I just ate and chilled out.

Monday

Today I will do the static bike for about 30 minutes, do some stretching and ab work.

Tuesday

After work I will do some weight training (arms) and interval training on the treadmill for 25 minutes.

Wednesday

Weight training (legs)

Thursday

I won't have time to hit the gym today so I will run my 20 minutes in the morning before I head to work and do some abs.

Friday

Rest day

Saturday

Rest day

Sunday

I will attempt to run 20 miles. I know you shouldn't keep increasing, but this week will be a pretty relaxed week and I will rest (and stretch) two days before. Plus, to recover, the following week I'll just clock 6 miles or so. 

I want to get another long run in before I have to start tapering. With getting sick, races, life... I haven't been able to stick as closely to my marathon training schedule as I would've liked. So before I start tapering (January 29th) I have this 20 miles and another 18 miles.

The marathon is coming so soon! I'm excited and SUPER NERVOUS! Before I know it, it will be February!


How are you staying active during the holiday season?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Week 31 Hair

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! OR MERRY WHATEVER YOU CELEBRATE!!! I hope everyone is enjoying time off with loved ones and relaxing.  


As I wrote about last week I tried something new with my routine. Instead of twisting my hair while wet as per usual. I twisted it dry. 

I think I like it!

It was a lot easier to twist (less tangles) and my hair didn't twist on itself at the ends like it usually does. Many times I have to clip off knots that form because my hair is so curly. 

The dry twists made it a lot more manageable. My hair was also a lot easier to style. So I played around with a few protective styles this week.







 
I didn't do anything too fancy but it was fun to try some new styles. Obviously, twisting it dry gave me a lot less shrinkage so the length allowed me a bit more freedom with styling. They were also less frizzy. So I didn't use any gel at all to slick down my edges. I liked that because although I like the slicked look, I don't like to use a lot of gel. 

I kept the twists in for the same amount of time (4 days) though. I exercise everyday so my hair needs to be washed at the end of the week. I don't bother to wash my hair with twists in because it's so curly it will just be a frizzy mess.

This weekend I did my long run on Saturday so I wouldn't have to run on Christmas Day. So I washed my hair yesterday and prepped it for twists.

Last week my hair was still a bit wet the next day so I'm going to probably twist my hair on Monday. I don't have to work so I don't have to worry about wearing a beanie on my head. I like beanies though.

Right now my hair is shampooed, conditioned, moisturized and in big braids. It is all ready for my twisting tomorrow.

So, I'm going to go downstairs in a little bit and start some of my vegan recipes. Definitely be sure to check those out this week when I post them on the blog!


Week 32 Hair

Detangle with conditioner
Shampoo
Deep condition
Kimmaytube leave in
Twists

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Weekly Recipe: Vegan Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

This is another borrowed recipe. A good friend of mine sent me a link to a page on tumblr that has all kinds of delicious vegetarian/vegan recipes. One of Chema's favorite American foods is pancakes so I wanted to find something relatively easy to make. This recipe was perfect.

It is so easy to make and personalize that it will easily become a favorite of mine. I'm already thinking about adding different fruit, spices, and herbs so that I can have a different experience every time. For the first attempt I stuck to the recipe and just added some almond butter and honey as toppings.

Honestly, and I'm not just saying this, they are WAY BETTER than traditional pancakes. They are so delicate, light, and fluffy...like delicious little clouds! Yes, this is another must-try recipe! While my pancakes don't look nearly as beautiful as on the blog I took it from...I know they tasted just as wonderful!

Mine
From the blog.

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups soy milk or non-dairy milk (I used rice milk)
2 ripe bananas 


Blend all ingredients (except bananas) in a blender until mixed. Next add the bananas and continue to blend until smooth. Cook.

That is absolutely it! I even kept the mix in the blender and just poured it in the pan so I had less dishes to wash afterwards. 

How easy is that?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I am not invincible

I like to think that I am, especially when it comes to running. But, no, it's not true and this past week proved it to me.

Monday & Tuesday

These two days rolled by without incident. I went to the gym and did what I usually do and felt great. Even though I did have a scratchy throat at work all day Tuesday I wasn't too concerned. I got home and had some tea with honey and lemon and some orange juice. It didn't matter because an hour later I had the sniffles. They lasted the rest of the night. I slept horribly.

Wednesday

I woke up feeling absolutely horrible! Yes, I had to admit it to myself: I WAS SICK! I couldn't even go to work. I was so delusional that I planned on going to the gym later that day. The only reason I didn't go was becasue I didn't have enough energy to get out of the bed! I did all the typical things to take care of myself but I just had to let this cold run its course. I also slept horribly.

Thursday

My younger brother's college graduation. I was in NO shape to go but I wasn't missing it! So I took tons of pills, put tons of tissues in my purse, and put on a little makeup so I didn't look completely horrible.

Me and my mom.

There's 3 siblings missing (at work and out of town) but there in spirit.
I survived. I had lackluster energy but still managed to scream and yell as he marched.

Friday

I'm feeling a bit better and have to go back to work. So, again, I take my pills and tissues and put on my game face. We also had our holiday lunch that day so at least I didn't have to be in the office all day. My ear was seriously hurting though. I thought that maybe I had an ear infection. Either way I was in pain and just rested the rest of the day.

Saturday

I agreed, like a crazy person, to go with my mom and older sister shopping. My mom is still on crutches from her little accident so I decided to come along and help out. We left the house at 10am and didn't get back until 430pm. I was exhausted, my ear still hurt, and I was miserable.

Sunday: I am not invincible

Taking all the above into account I still believed that I was ready to run my 18 miles. I had taken a short hiatus from the gym because I was sick so I figured I was healthy enough. I had slept fine and my ear didn't hurt anymore. So I woke up and got dressed. Chema and my youngest brother came with me on their bikes because we mapped the route the night before. I was feeling really good, on my pace and everything.

Around mile 9 I start to feel queasy. I mean REALLY QUEASY. I have never felt like this before, Sure, I've had cramps before or weird muscle spasms but nothing like this. I keep running, like the crazy person I am, pretending that all is well.

I stop at mile 10 (1 hour 20 minutes) because I am about to vomit. I fight it back down but some comes up and I cough on it. Chema gives me a GU and I munch on that thinking I'm dehydrated or need some energy. I walk for about 10 minutes and my stomach starts to normalize. These were super agonizing 10 minutes.

I start to run again and then have to stop at 15 minutes. I mean I was about to COLLAPSE! Chema has to ride me on his bike because I couldn't walk. I eventually get off because it was hurting my legs.

Meanwhile we are far from home, it's extremely cold outside, and I need to sit down. We walk for 20 more minutes and then I run for about 6 more minutes. I do it because I'm freezing and just want to get home a little quicker. I stop, defeated, I just can't go on. Luckily, my mom and brother were coming from the post office and see us once we make it to a main street.

At home I could barely shower because I had no energy! I was sipping on Ginger Ale the rest of the morning and in bed. I felt better though around the afternoon and even managed to eat something.

Disclaimer: I care about my health and my body. This was not me thinking: I don't care if I'm sick, I'm going to run anyway. I honestly felt better. But I should have listened to those around me. My mom told me not to run, to give myself some time to recuperate. Even though I was feeling better that did NOT mean I was ready to run. I could have really hurt myself.

So, it's important to know (and respect) our limits.

So this week I'm taking a break. I plan to go to the gym on Thursday and Friday and then try my 18 miles again the Monday after Christmas. Lesson learned.

What are some lesson you've learned the hard way in running, exercising, life...?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Week 30 Hair

This week I've been experimenting with hair accessories. 

I love hair accessories! 

As well as wearing my hair out. 

I went "clubbing" with my sister for a friend's birthday party last weekend and I wanted to wear my hair out. The initial idea was to do curls with the flexi rods but that didn't work out.

I had my 5K that same day so we couldn't put them in the night before. Then with trying to find something to wear and getting all glammed up we did it too late.

My sister did put the flexi rods in but I didn't have enough time to prep my hair or wait for them to dry. So instead of frowning at the huge 'fro I was left with, I embraced it. I put my hair in a side puff with a pompador style bang and a cute flower.

I love natural hair! 

It can be crinkly, curly, a 'fro, big, little...the options are endless. Since starting this HHCJ I haven't worn my hair out, at all, except for a few ponytails. So I completely forgot how big my hair can get

I didn't have a chance to take a pic of my hair that night. But I replicated it for my younger brother's graduation this past Thursday. My hair didn't come out quite as big (and these pics were taken at the end of a VERY long day) but you get the idea. Just imagine my hair twice as big and that's how it looked for the birthday party.




To re-create this look I just re-wet my hair. I was not about to have those flexi rods put back into my hair because it was too much work. Instead, I wet my hair in sections, detangled, and then applied some coconut oil

I then braided each section. Next time I will just twist each section because I don't need my hair to be super stretched out for this look. Plus, braids take forever to take out! I ended up having to finish my hair in the car, with no mirror, because I was running late. (No, I was not driving!

Once all the braids were removed I just separated and separated until the puff got as big as I wanted it.

The flower I got at TJ Max or JC Penny. It was on sale for $7. I picked up another one this weekend while my mother was finishing her Christmas shopping. I don't remember what department store it was but I got it for $5. It's actually cuter than the one in the above picture so I can't wait to rock it!  

Like I said: I love hair accessories! I've been meaning to pick up some but they are too expensive! Many of them are more than $10 and I refuse to pay that much for a flower or a headband. 

Plus, the two I have now double as broaches. So I will be using them on my scarves and cardigans! I know you can pick up cheap ones from Forever21 and places like that but I haven't had the time to get out there yet. 

Some people find the cutest ones at their local dollar store or hair store. I've been in both places where I live and haven't found a thing. So I will keep searching. 

But these things quickly glam up a simple style. If you don't wear hair accessories now I seriously encourage you to try them, regardless of your hair type.

Anyway, as far as my routine goes I'm thinking of trying something new. A few youtubers (I'm always quoting youtube because it's great for natural hair ideas) say they only twist their hair when it's dry. 

Their twists look fabulous so I'm going to give it a try. It works out perfectly because I don't plan on washing my hair this Sunday (Christmas). I plan on keeping these twists in until the Monday after Christmas.

I prepared my hair yesterday by doing the usual. I then divided it into sections and braided each section to keep it stretched out. I wore my beanie to work today and now will commence to twisting as I watch reruns of Teen Titans. I will definitely take pictures of the twists to let you know how it turns out.

It's funny because during the winter months people tend to cover up their hair with protective styles. But this past week I've enjoyed wearing my hair out. Actually, wearing it out made it so much easier to detangle. 

While I won't abandon my HHCJ, I'm discovering how much fun it can be to have natural hair!


Week 31 Hair

Detangle
Shampoo
Deep condition
Kimmaytube leave in
Twists

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jolly Elf Trail Run: Recap

  • I finished 57th out of 599 participants
  • 8th out of total females
  • AND FIRST IN MY CATEGORY!!!! 


Here I am near the finish line.
 It was such an amazing feeling looking at the website the next day and seeing my name FIRST!

This was a smaller race so only the male and female winners got medals. But, heck, I don't care! 

Winning my category was MY medal!



RACE RECAP


 It was a trail run. I didn't even realize I had signed up for a trail run until I went to pick up my race pack on Friday. I was mildly curious about it. But since it was only a 5K I was not too concerned.

I woke up on Saturday excited and ready to see what the course looked like. The only bad news is that it was so cold


I feel like it was colder than the half-marathon. That makes sense because we are now in the second half of December.

We got there an hour early to find parking and pick up my chip. It was old-school this time.

Here I am picking up my chip.

The typical shoe chip that you have to give back.

No high-tech technology like the half-marathon. But hey, it was a 5K and it only cost me $20! I wasn't complaining!

Before my race there was 1 mile "fun run" for little kids and their families.


It was cute. There were tons of little munchkins, and a few tears, but everyone finished the race.


My race started a half hour later at 9am. There were about 599 participants in the timed 5K.


I placed myself at the front this time. I had no plans to run a PR or anything. It was all in good fun. The trail was not as scary as I expected. I had to run through quite a bit of mud and leaves but it was OK.

I had fun and even got a yummy candy cane at the end!

I gave it to my niece because I don't eat candy canes.
The food after the event was good too. They had bananas, oranges, whole wheat bread and tons of yummy types of bagels. It was great. After the half-marathon I could only eat a banana because the other options were pizza and beer!

All in all it was great. (I said that already didn't I?)

I saw tons of elves like promised.





Ok, clearly not elves but festive!
 DJs and cheerleaders. If you look to the left you can see some pre-teens with pom poms.


 An old man with no shirt on in 30 degree Fahrenheit weather.


 Beautiful views



 And most importantly: camaraderie


The woman in blue was super fast! The tall elf to the right finished second.

I'm definitely a fan of community races.

This was my last race before my marathon next year. I definitely ended the year on a high note!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Weekly Recipe: Molasses Biscuits

This was one of my vegan Thanksgiving recipes. These biscuits are DELICIOUS! I made 19 on Thanksgiving and then 10 more the Sunday after. Chema and I ate them all by ourselves. It was ridiculous.

The ingredients are so cheap and things that you already have in your kitchen. The only thing you have to buy are the herbs and maybe molasses. So yea, I had to put my foot down and not make any more.

Maybe I'll make some this weekend. Although, I found a ridiculously easy vegan pancake recipe online that I want to try. Maybe that'll be my reward after running my 5K on Saturday!

(This recipe is courtesy of the Food Network Magazine. The photo below is courtesy of my camera.)



These are the uncooked versions. They were too good to take pics of post oven!

Molasses Biscuits (Vegan)

Mix 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, 1/4 cup oatmeal, 1 Tbsp wheat germ, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp each of salt and chopped thyme, and a pinch of pepper in a bowl. Whisk 3 Tbsp molasses, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and 3/4 cup non-dairy milk in another bowl. Then stir it into the flour mixture. Drop 10 mounds of dough (1/4 cup each) on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush with non-dairy milk and sprinkle with more oats, thyme and salt. Bake at 450 degrees until golden, about 12 minutes.

It was easy to measure out the biscuits because I used a dry measure cup. So I just scooped it out and then molded them into balls. So easy and quick! You only need two bowls and some measure spoons/cups. Just be careful because they are addictive!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Week in Review

The highlight of this week is my 5K on Saturday. I'm not worried or stressed out about it. It should be a nice, fun, race. It's holiday-themed so I should have some funny pictures to share with you all in the race recap. I, however, won't be dressing up...maybe next year.

We also put up our Christmas tree! For the past few years my mom has bought a fake tree. I'm not a fan. So this year, to please me, she got the biggest authentic tree ever!


Actually, while I was writing this post the tree fell over! The honest truth. I had to pause for at least half an hour. If we had a camera it would have gotten a million views on youtube! Seriously. It wasn't funny cleaning up the broken ornaments and re-decorating the tree though. Oh well, it didn't kill my holiday spirit!

Anyway, the highlight of my Sunday was that I found a new running route! I'm so excited because my 16 miles last week were torture. I ran 6 miles on Sunday and in 2 weeks I run 18 miles. Chema found it while riding his bike and it's perfect! 

New scenery really helps to recharge your motivation.



OK, so here's how my week is developing:

Monday

I felt incredibly sluggish so I decided that today would be my rest day. 

Tuesday 

Today I did 20-minute intervals on the treadmill and weights (upper body). I can feel how long it's been since I've done intervals because I feel like my body wants to fall off! Wow, I feel super tired right now and it was only 20 minutes.

Wednesday

Weights (lower body). I wanted to do a class at the gym but I have to go with my mom to a Community Watch Meeting. It's going to be quite boring but we have to go and "argue" against a fine. My mom's neighborhood has this new ridiculous rule where the trash cans have to be on the side of the house. We had them maybe 2 days in front of the house and so we got sanctioned. These communities are the worst!

Thursday

20 minute interval training again. Hopefully it'll be a lot easier than today! Abs. I'm also thinking of a class if I have time. 

Friday

This was going to be a rest day because of the 5K on Saturday. But since I rested on Monday I might just do a class. There's a body combat class and that's not intense cardio.

Saturday

5K in Cary! Look for recap pics!

Sunday

Rest day. It's going to feel weird not running today on my typical long run day. The only time I didn't run was when I was injured! Although, I am going out Saturday night with my sister for a birthday party so maybe I'll even sleep in!

Let me know what your get moving plans are for this week!


Week 28 Hair

The deep conditioner is the best! 

I love this stuff! (I use Organic Root Stimulator) I've noticed a serious difference with my hair. Last week I felt the same way but thought that maybe it was a fluke. It wasn't, thankfully. 

My hair is condiserably less frizzy than it usually is. Not only that, but my twists last a lot longer as well. I kept them in until Thursday of last week. Usually by then they really need to come out. However, I could have gone another day. 

For now, this is something that is staying in my routine for the long term. I'll come back with another update on the deep conditioner once I've been using it for a month.

Anyway, since I know I've been lazy about taking hair pics, I have some today


This is how I wore my hair on Thursday right before taking out my twists. It's a style you've seen before with a twist. The hair is definitely frizzy but workable. My hair has never done this before on Day 4 hair!



My bang. I tend to either roll it up (like it is now) or wear it out in a bump sort of style.



This is my hair post twist take out.



Here's the side view.


Another successful week with my hair. It was even easier to detangle and style. If you don't deep condition now, then do it! Some only do it a couple of times every month but it works for me every week. My strands are a lot stronger and fuller.

Next week is my 2nd protein treatment. I won't deep condition because the Organice Root Stimulator has protein in it as well. I will just use the ApHogee moisturizer and then style my hair as usual.


Week 29 Hair
  • Detangle with conditioner
  • Shampoo
  • Protein treatment (Step 1 ApHogee)
  • Balancing moisturizer (Step 2 ApHogee)
  • Kimmaytube leave in
  • Twists

Friday, December 2, 2011

Debate/Discussion: TV makes you fat

Googleimages


The article where this handy statistic came from had nothing to do with the health and fitness aspect of this trend. But it got me thinking. This is an issue that I see around a lot on health and fitness sites and in magazines. 


All of the experts SWEAR that TV makes Americans fat.


My opinion is this: TV doesn't make Americans or anyone else fat. Consuming more calories than you burn, being too sedentary, not having a balanced diet, thyroid problems...those are some of the things I believe make people fat.


I do, however, also think that the people who tend to watch the most TV are those that tend to be more sedentary than others. 


I make this conclusion based simply on those that I observe around me. If you are in superb health, can run circles around olympic athletes, watch tons of TV, and sit on your butt all day, then good for you. Oh, and please share how you do it!


That's probably not the case though. We all have shows that we like to watch. But there's a difference between watching something now and again and sitting on your butt all weekend long. Or sitting on your butt during the week as well, after a job where you sit on your butt all day, and then sitting on your butt until it's time for bed.


Mix that with eating horribly and engaging in other bad for you habits. Yes, there is a great chance that you will gain weight and maybe even suffer from other ailments.


Statistics like these sound sexy. They get people outraged and poised to act. That's fine, in my personal opinion. Most Americans don't eat right or do enough exercise. If they then spend all their free time watching TV, it will start to have an adverse effect on their health. I mean, that's strictly common sense.

 
With all that said I guess my opinion is not that TV makes people fat, It's simply that bad choices make people fat (or hormonal problems etc). 


Then again, there are a lot of people who are so tempted by TV like they're tempted by fried foods, chocolate, or smoking. Why? What is it about TV that makes the best of us forget about exercising and gobble up a bag of chips without realizing it?


Well, commercials are quite tempting. Most commercials are about food or toys (for kids and adults alike). Is that what makes us keep the TV on and eat and eat and eat?  


I don't have all the answers. Honestly, I'm not a fan of TV. There's no show that I watch every week or even everyday. When I was in high school I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer (still do!) and X-Files. 


The people in my family...they can't go a day without turning on the TV. Actually my mom and older sister sleep with it on. I don't know how they do it. I need it to be pitch black and absolutely silent before I enter my REM cycle.


For all those out there who can't live without TV I say be smart about it. 

  • Don't eat while sitting in front of it because you will eat more.
  • Put a limit on it. Watch only one show a day. Instead of having the TV on all night when you get home from work.
  • If you're really adventurous, do some exercises between commercials. I always read this in fitness magazines. It sounds like good advice but I'm not sure how realistic it is. But try it!
  • BE MORE ACTIVE! Duh!
  • Eat better
  • Go out more
 
What do you readers think? Is TV the devil or do we just not care about our health in general? How can we change this? Will it ever change?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

One of my delicious vegan recipes I made for Thanksgiving. So good and so easy. Even you non-vegan people will love it!




Vegan Pumpkin Pie
1 15oz can pumpkin
1 cup soy milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cloves
Plus a vegan pie crust

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into unbaked pie crust and place in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 hour. Take out and let it set overnight before serving.

How easy is that!!! I mean, dessert doesn't get any easier than that. I'm not much of a baker but these pies came out perfect. I went the frozen crust path and bought two vegan ones from Whole Foods.


They were absolutely delicious. There are a few options if you don't fancy a whole wheat one. Try this recipe!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December Goals

Googleimages

I feel like I just made my November goals. Seriously, this year is winding down fast! I don't have any regrets for the month of November though. I did as much as I could. 

Yet, I still haven't gotten to my foot exercises. At work I read an interesting blog post about another runner who has to have a boot on her foot! This scared me a bit because her foot pain started out a lot like mine. 

You remember right? 

My foot hasn't been hurting at all. But reading that article was a wake up call. I can't afford any injuries right now. I'm working my body hard so I need to baby it a bit more.

I'm trying

Other than that I stayed on track. Tonight I have a group weight training class that I've been wanting to try since I got this gym membership. 

Well, on track training wise. As you know I've been super lazy where my hair is concerned.


Anyway, here's a few things I'm thinking about for December:


  1. READ THE BLOGS I'M SUBSCRIBED TO. Honestly, it's been over a month since I could really sit down and see what everyone has been up to. I'm so focused on work, training, family life etc. like everyone else, that some things are placed on the back burner. This is one of those things. So I'm going to make an effort to start re-connecting with all you lovely people.
  2. Find some different running routes. I did 16 miles on Sunday and it hit me: my running route is getting super boring. I did Fartlek this week just to break it up. But I won't be able to on Thursday so it's boring running route again. Chema has scoped out some interesting places while riding his bike. So I'm thinking I might check it out on Saturday in preparation for my long run Sunday. I only have 6 miles to run anyway. So it's a good time to check it out. I want to be prepared for my 18 miles December 11th. Only 2 weeks away.
  3. Get my license. I need independence people! I've been driving around a lot lately and I feel completely ready for that part of the test. Now I just need to start studying the DMV book. Everyone keeps telling me it's "common sense." Yes it is to an extent. But they ask a lot of technical stuff too. I took the practice exam online and, yea, if it was the real one I'd still be without my license. My goal is before Christmas, and definitely before the New Year. Wish me luck!
  4. Get back on track with weight training. This week I've been catching up. However, it's been about 2-3 weeks since I've dedicated a whole workout session to weights. The proof is how sore my body feels right now after just 1 day.
  5. Connect with my Spain (and US) friends and family. I suck at staying in touch. This month, especially with the Christmas holiday, I want to re-connect with people. Maybe I'll be ambitious and send out Christmas cards! Maybe, I said.

That's about it. I'm trying to think of something else that I want to focus on but there's nothing really. Of course I want to try and incorporate my foot exercises and Fartlek a lot more, in general.

I set these mini goals just to keep myself motivated. Honestly, I'm doing well. I didn't slack even a bit last week and even ran Thanksgiving morning. So I'm proud of myself. Hopefully next month will be another productive month.

What are your goals for December?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Weekly Check in

Hi all! As you can tell I truly enjoyed my holiday because I have been nowhere near blogger! I come back today because things are more or less back to normal. Plus, Chema is off riding his bike and isn't hogging the computer!

My Thanksgiving was great. I'm especially happy that all my vegan side dishes came out superb! So stay tuned for all the recipes coming up in the coming weeks. For now enjoy the pics:

These are my lovely vegan pumpkin pies. They were delicious! Look for this recipe on Thursday. It's super easy. I felt a tinge of guilt because my mom was slaving away making her peach cobbler and sweet potato pies and I was done in like 10 minutes!


These are awesome molasses biscuits that I got from the foodnetwork's Thanksgiving magazine issue. They are so cheap AND EASY to make that I could make them everyday. Actually, I made some more on the Sunday after Thanksgiving! Look for this recipe next week.


There was one more recipe but I failed to take a picture of it so I'll list the ingredients instead.

Spicy Mushrooms

Broil 2 halved plum tomatoes, 2 seeded jalapeños (both skin-side up) and 4 unpeeled garlic cloves until charred, 6 minutes. Peel the garlic and chop the veggies. Sauté 1/2 cup minced onion and 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms in olive oil with salt to taste, 8 minutes. Add the tomato mixture, 1/2 cup vegetable broth and some chopped parsley; cook 5 minutes. Stir in the juice of 1 lime.

This was another foodnetwork recipe. These things were delicious! They are called "spicy mushrooms" for a reason. So don't get surprised when you try them. This was another quick vegan recipe. I made some more on Monday because I had another pack of mushrooms.

I did eat up a storm, like everyone else, but I still managed to get my workouts in. I didn't go to the gym at all last week because it was just too busy. But I got all my miles in, which made me happy. I did my 20 minutes Tuesday and Thursday and my 16 miles on Sunday.


This Week:

Monday

I went to the gym and did 30 minutes on the static bike, stretched really well, did some abs and weights (upper body only).

Tuesday

Today the plan is to do 20 minutes of interval training on the treadmill and then my 60 minute spinning class. (I'm nervous because I haven't done intervals in 2 months!)

Wednesday

I'll probably go to the group weight training class at the gym or do weights by myself.

Thursday

Another 20 minutes of interval training and a gym class. 

Friday

Weights, total body

Saturday

Rest

Sunday

10 miles


How is your week shaping up?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 27 Hair

A new product has been added to my routine:



My current focus is to make sure that I'm incorporating protein. I feel like my hair is always moisturized and it looks and feels healthy. However, I'm not sure if any of my products have protein.

My next monthly protein treatment is on December 11th. Between those times I will deep condition with a light protein. This means shaking off my laziness and sitting under the hooded dryer for 15-20 minutes.

This past Sunday I endured it for 17 minutes. I probably won't notice any real difference for about 4 weeks but my twists are definitely less frizzy today. I've heard a lot of people talk about the Root Stimulator Deep Conditioner and so I figured I would try it.

One particular youtuber (sunshower143) has used it since her HHCJ and she has beautiful hair. She discussed it when talking about her winter hair regimen for 2011.



Be sure to check her channel!

It's done well for her. Plus, my Bear Fruit Hair product has run out. I love that product. But the Root Stimulator I can get at Sally's for $12 in a big bottle. No shipping or handling required. I can always go back to it if I find I don't get the same results.

That's about all that's changed. I will sit under the hooded dryer each time I wash my hair to help the deep conditioner penetrate. In addition, I will give myself a protein treatment with my Aphogee each month. I think this will just be an added boost for my hair and give it more strength.

I've also started wearing my hair out once a week. I know it's better to do "protective styling" during the winter to protect the ends of my hair. But the weather here hasn't turned cold yet and I'm starting to miss seeing my hair out. Chema is missing my 'fro too! So usually on a Saturday I'll wear it out while I run my errands. 

Stay tuned for a pic next weekend!


Week 28 Hair
  • Detangle with conditioner
  • Wash hair
  • Deep Condition + hooded dryer for 15-20 minutes
  • Kimmaytube leave in
  • Twists

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week 26 Hair

I have been super lax with my hair these past weeks. I have been following my regimen but I haven't done any styling or anything even remotely interesting to my hair. 

Here's the proof:




This is my Lazy Day Style #1. My hair has been like this, or in a bun, for the past few weeks. For Thanksgiving I might try another hairstyle involving curls. But my lovely sister is going to do it! I don't have the energy to even attempt to try why she wants to do. But if it finally gets done I will surely post pictures.

I haven't even gotten myself together to do my 6 month length check!

In fact, I've decided that I probably won't do another length check until next year. Mainly because I'm really pressed for time on Sundays. Especially now that my mom is on crutches for six weeks. She has a type of tendonitis and has to be in physical therapy for 4-6 weeks. 

So Chema and I have to be her chauffeur so to speak. Sundays are when my mom does her grocery shopping, when I do my long runs, and go through my hair washing process. By the end of that I'm exhausted! 

This weekend, for example, was Thanksgiving day shopping, I also had to run 15 miles and then do my hair...enough said.

However, I wanted to give you all this mini check-in to let you know I am still caring for my hair. I gave myself a protein treatment (Aphogee) on Sunday and the next one is on December 11th. So all is going well.